Fertile Soil: Will We Grow & How?

“A farmer went out to sow his seed…Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain…Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Mark 4
The parable of the four soils is one of my all time favorite parts of the gospels. Not because it is so encouraging… It’s not one of those parts that tells me “that a girl!” or confirms that I’m doing it all right. It actually convicts me each time I read over it! But, I know it’s all for good. Read the whole story here
As Brooks and I continue to pray through our 5 year plans and what we feel God is leading us to next, we can’t help but have this worldliness and fears crop up.

You know, what if we are wrong about all of this, how will we afford it, what will friends & family say, and my “favorite” fear…. the unknown. That silly fear of heading in a direction that you’ve never headed in before and really don’t even know where it leads! 
But, why are we so scared to follow Christ’s leading? We like being comfortable. That’s why. The unknown = Uncomfortable. #NoLikey
I personally get in this funk sometimes where being comfortable is more important to me than anything, especially if God is leading me to be uncomfortable. Guilty as charged, I run from uncomfortableness, even if it’s just for a season. I get whiny about having to do it. My friends that is dangerous territory. It means I am running from the Lord and being disobedient. #InsertMyScaredFace ? ?
Choosing to ignore His voice because of my worldly cares or a fear of the unknown is like walking on hot coals laced with shards of glass. I can assure you that I will start to see the effects of my choices. In these cases, I’m not where I’m supposed to be! And what disappoints me the most is that as Luke 8:14 states, I don’t “mature” if I allow these things to rule in my life. Lord knows I want to grow!
Think of it this way. What happens when you start driving in the wrong direction? And, no, not just when your husband is driving in the wrong direction? First, you may see some things that you didn’t expect. Then, you see things that don’t fit at all with your roadmap. Before you know it you see the clear signs that you are in a completely different state. Tensions rise, words are said (perhaps even some bad ones…), frustration, and maybe a little nausea all set in. Yep, you’re on the wrong path.
I have found my disobedience to be similar. Something just doesn’t feel right and then I see the ramifications of it. I just know in my heart that something is amiss and things don’t seem to be going well. I’m not saying that if it’s coming easy then I’m on the right path. Often times, following Christ means the opposite.
So, how does this all fit into the parable of the 4 soils and my being impacted by the soil full of thorns? I have to walk daily in consciousness of mind that my worldly concerns & desires affect my ability to hear from Him, serve Him, follow Him, and even love Him. I am intentional about recognizing my attitude and approach toward His will versus my own desires. I can’t expect to be comfortable all the time. But, that’s where trust, belief, and knowing He has a plan that far exceeds my own come in.
Brooks and I are being challenged with this right now. We know He is working and we are being pushed to trust Him more. We don’t have a clear picture of the how and definitely don’t know the why. But, we know we need to be on alert. We are watching and waiting with willing hearts.
Don’t let the cares of this world affect your willingness to be a Christ Follower. It’s ok to be uncomfortable now and again. There are seasons of rest & ease and there are seasons of work & hardship. I am always amazed and inspired by those who hear from the Lord and drop everything to follow Him, just as the disciples did so long ago.
Trust the Lord always, have a willing heart, and know that it may not be easy. I believe the rest of the picture will come if you start with these.

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