Some time ago, I recorded a teaching on the Parable of the Sower. You can find it linked below. When I made this teaching, I felt a sense of revelation as I dug deep into this foundational teaching of Jesus. Each soil condition described the condition of a persons heart as revealed by the way it interacts with the Word of God. As I continue on the Mission of the Kingdom of God, this teaching becomes more relevant and fascinating each day.
Today I am discussing the 1st soil. The passage is found in more than one Gospel. I am referencing Mark 4:14-20. I describe first soil as “Snatched Seed”. The first thing I notice is where this person is found. They are encountered on the road side. If you can apply this description in a general term, I would say you find them when you are one the mission. We encounter many such people in our work. The amazing thing is how accurately this parable describes the spiritual challenge of reaching first soil people.
We recently helped a young homeless man. He was a recovering drug addict who had become homeless. We connected with him as our missionaries and some volunteers were going door to door in our neighborhood. After their encounter, he came to my house looking for help. I presented the Gospel to him and asked him if he wanted to become a disciple of Jesus. The spiritual battle at that moment was intense. He choked out a yes answer but I was not so sure. Time always reveals what the heart truly wants. We took him into our house that day. He had nothing but the clothes on his back.
Some of the guys went through their closets and withing hours he had a room, food, a wardrobe and a new family. I offered to help him obtain his identification paperwork so I could give him a job. I assigned him a daily devotional we start new disciples on, gave him a Bible and I let him rest. This is where the parable began to play out. Withing a day there were people at our door trying to get the man to go run with them. The birds in the parable somehow new where he was and hunted him down even though he had no phone. They were told he could not have visitors at the house but they kept coming.
I met with him to answer questions about Jesus and confirm his desire to follow Christ. We made plans for him to be baptized. Soon more “Friends” showed up with emergency needs that only he could help with. Over the next two weeks the friends won out and he left our house to go back to the streets. Satan had snatched the seed of the word of God from his heart.
With regular encounters like this, we have determined there is a need for a more remote retreat center like location where people can go to escape their environment. A place for healing and connecting with God. This is now in our future plans. Watch for more information on this project as it takes shape. I had some deep conversations with this man. The depth of his pain was intense. No one ever told him that Jesus could heal that pain. All of the other voices surrounding him kept him from reaching that healing. The parable of the Sower was true in this case. The birds – old friends – other voices, ate the seed, the Word of God, as soon as it was sown. Satan – the destroyer – snatched him away before he could destroy the stronghold that Satan had over him. The strongholds that were firmly help in place by the pain he had endured.