Let’s talk about some of the things that happen in the spirit and in your mind when you take time to study and read the Word. First, watch this:
The wayside: The sides of a path are usually hard and packed earth. So this is symbolizing someone whose heart is a bit dense. Before the seed is able to sink in to their heart, the Devil comes along and snatches it away—before they even understand it, before they can receive it, before they even get saved.
The stony ground: This symbolizes those who initially hear and receive the Word with joy, but it doesn’t take root in their heart and life, so it easily withers away. It’s easy to become “stony ground” every so often. This is when you read something and it inspires you on the spot, but then something happens. It could be anything, ranging from a small change in your routine to a huge upset in your life, and then you plain forget all about what you read. It’s in one ear and out the other before it has a chance to take root in your heart and shape your thinking and your actions.
The thorny, weedy ground: This symbolizes those who read the Word, understand it, and start trying to live it in their life, but then get so easily distracted with the happenings or problems of daily life that it crowds the Word out of their hearts and actions. If the Devil can’t get you to forget what you’ve learned, he’ll try to make sure that you don’t use it.
For example, you read about the importance of giving to others, and you think of a few things that you can do that day that will be unselfish—like helping your mom tidy the house when you return from school. But then your friend texts a message to you and you feel the need to reply right then. Before you know it, your reply has turned into a full-fledged conversation, and now you’re late for your homework and no longer have time to help your mom tidy up the house. Perhaps you decide that you’ll help the next day, but the next day comes and you feel tired and you want to have some time for yourself. You end up going to bed without having a chance to apply the Word that you’ve read. Pretty soon, you get frustrated reading about things that you have a hard time actually doing, and you lose interest in the Word. That’s what the thorny ground is like.
The bottom line is that there will always be something that can be used to separate us from the Word unless we keep it in first place and remember how important it is.
If you remember this and you keep the Word in the right place in your life, then you will see the fruit of the last kind of ground—the good ground. “But on the good ground are [those], which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15 KJV).