Stages Of Faith – Bumps And Bruises
Everything starts with a seed. A plant. A thought. A belief.
There is a good chance that you have read the Parable Of The Sower. Here’s a quick refresher to consider:
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Seemingly simple, right? We can see that the seed falls on different people in different ways. As you know, Jesus speaks of the seed falling on different people, with differing results. In this instance the seed represents the Word of God. The different landscapes represent differing levels of faith.
For some people, the seed is gone almost as soon as it was sown into them. This is represented by the seeds being eaten by the birds along the path in verse 4 above. It doesn’t even have a chance to thrive before it is no more.
The rocky places represents those of us that have hard hearts. The seed falls on ‘rocky places’ and because there is no real ‘soil’ (faith) for it to grow within, it withers away quickly as described in verse 5.
Often we will see, as in verse 7, the seed will be given a good chance to grow within welcoming soil but is choked out by life’s worries and concerns as represented by the thorns.
Lastly, we see Jesus state that seed falling on good soil, a faithful and welcoming heart, produces fruits in an exponential manner.
This is most likely nothing new to you: the seed falling on different people with differing results.
What if I were to tell you that YOU were ALL FOUR of the above? This is a revelation that God gave me that I feel you would enjoy.
Consider the graphic below:
At some point, or another, we have been all four of the ‘landscapes’ that Jesus describes.
When you first give your life to Jesus, the seed is sown upon you but is ripe for attack or is easy to be stolen away. Much like seed by the side of the row. But let us assume that you keep holding on to Jesus and don’t let the seed be stolen away. Therefore, congratulations! You just leveled up! (Cue Mario sounds!)
You have entered the second level where you have a little faith, a little soil, for that seed to grow in. I’d be willing to bet a fresh batch of Nutella that you are starting to get the picture now! In stage three, we begin to see the fruits of that seed breath, grow and stretch out. Sadly, sometimes these are choked down by the thorns of life; finances, drama, etc.
But hold fast, because as you progress through your faith, your heart becomes good soil. Jesus teaches you (in my experience, through time) to overcome those thorns and truly begin to see the fruits of that little seed made manifest in your life.
Naturally, there is a period of time between each stage as you progress up those spiritual steps. Spiritual bumps and bruises. Learning curves. Even in THOSE times God is with you.
I pray that you have enjoyed this revelation. I most certainly did when it was given to me. Perhaps you can even remember when you were without soil, had a rocky place for a heart, or seemingly drowned in weeds and thorns. However, I’m sure as you reflect upon this, you can perhaps see how much more faithful it has made you.