Posted in Mark, Philippians

A Habitat for Growth

“The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows – how, he himself does not know.” Mark 4:26-27

The seed of the kingdom of God is the Word of God. (Mark 4:14) When the Word of God is in us a change begins to happen from the inside out. Its miracle working power to change us only needs to be in the right habitat for it to complete its wonderful, transforming work. What does that habitat look like?

First, it is a habitat of grace. After the Word is planted, “he goes to bed at night…” We must rest in God instead of continually watching ourselves for growth. Could you imagine that seed surviving if every night the man went out and dug it up to see how it was doing? We need to rest in God and trust that the One who began a good work in us will also finish it. (Philippians 1:6) 

Second, it is a habitat focused on God, not man. Jesus said that some seeds dry up when “persecution arises because of the Word.” (Mark 4:17) When our focus is on people we try to live up to their expectations and time demands. When we’re seeking to follow the Word, God’s agenda and man’s agenda will come into conflict and then a choice needs to be made. Will we please God or man? 

Finally, it’s a habitat that is thorn free. Jesus gave three main thorns that will have to be continually weeded out of the garden of our hearts or the Word of God won’t grow to maturity in us. (Mark 4:19)

  1.  “The worries of the world…”  Worrying is the opposite of trusting God. If you find yourself anxious, stop, ask God to take control of whatever situation you’re anxious about and let go of it.
  2. “The deceitfulness of riches…”  Money and what money can buy promise happiness and safety but once you get them you find yourself empty and anxious after just a little while. Who’s in charge? Is it God or is it money? Choose this day which one you will serve.
  3. “The desires for other things…” Anything can choke out the word if it becomes the central focus instead of Jesus. Hold everything you have and want loosely while holding on to Jesus tightly, and you’ll find you can enjoy life to the fullest.