The famous parable of the sower is about patience. Not patience toward people but patience toward God. You remember Jesus talking about the seed, right? Some fell by the wayside; some fell on the rock; some fell among thorns . . . and others fell on good ground. Let’s look at Jesus’ explanation.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:11-15).
The “good ground” Jesus mentions indicates those who heard the Word and eventually brought forth fruit “with patience.” The other hearers brought forth a measure of fruit, too, but only for a time. Why? Because they were impatient with the Lord and his working in their life.
The heart of the “good ground” hearer has a definite direction! In every circumstance, he directs himself first into the love of God, and then into patiently waiting for Jesus Christ. These two characteristics are necessary for a heart that produces lasting fruit. We read in Hebrews that “You have need of [patience], so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (10:36).
Take God’s Word and set it in your heart; let it produce an honest, pure heart and then wait patiently for him to come to your deliverance.
In the past, Christians have thought of deliverance mainly as physical, but soon people will find out that they are to be delivered from fear and dread. When that time comes, deliverance will mean “having a sure word from heaven.” When awful things begin happening, people will be anxious to know what God is going to do next. They will turn in all directions, wanting to hear the voice of someone who is calm, peaceful, stable. They will cry, “Is this God’s judgment? When is it going to end?”
Who will have the answer? You — the ordinary Christian who has been shut in with God. You will have a calm spirit when everything seems to be falling apart because you know God is with you. You will have heard from heaven and will stand on his promises to protect you.
“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods . . . from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you” (1 Samuel 7:3).
Over and over the people of Israel urged Samuel to pray for them because they had learned to trust his prayers. Samuel had the answers for Israel because he heard from God and he offered the right word for the crisis hour.
Today, God is looking for a holy remnant, ordinary saints who are full of peace, lovers of Jesus who will be signs and wonders to the world. Does this describe you? Is your life a witness to a frightened, shaken world? I urge you to get alone with God and let him speak to you. Make yourself available to him by giving yourself to prayer and then you will be a ready soldier in these last days.
Something very powerful is going on in the world today. God is doing a hidden, quiet work, something so supernatural that it is beyond human comprehension. He is preparing a small but powerful army that is going to be the most dedicated on the face of the earth. The Lord is going to close out the ages with a pure, devoted, fearless remnant.
All my life I heard stories of our godly forebears, men and women who spent hours, even days, in fasting and prayer. They knew God’s voice and they had the power to successfully stand up against evil in their day.
These godly forefathers have passed on but God is in the process of raising up another army. This new army will be composed of believers both young and old — ordinary Christians who lay hold of God. A whole new realm of ministry is about to come forth!
The denominational church system appears to be in the throes of death, possessing almost no influence in the secular world, no mighty power of Christ. Growing numbers of ministers are falling, and worldliness continues to creep into the church of Jesus Christ. The devil is claiming victory, as more and more pastor’s race down the road of compromise and corruption.
Yet the Bible says we are not to fret! God has a plan and it is being manifested. He is hearing the cries of his children who have given themselves totally to him. People will run to find them, crying, “I know you are someone who touches God . . . and I need God to touch me!”
Beloved, God wants to make you a part of his hidden army! He wants to give you a ministry to others who come to you with their burdens and trials. When you spend time with him, you will be able to stand up with spiritual authority and say, “Thus says the Lord!” because you have been listening to his voice.
“I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19). In this verse we see that Paul is beginning to understand his mission in life — winning souls for Jesus Christ! In verse 16 he says, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
What a transformation had taken place in Paul’s life! In Acts 9 we see him on the road to Damascus, going full-speed to persecute as many Christians as he could. What a horrific history he had. We know he was part of the martyrdom of Stephen (see Acts 7:55-60) and many historians believe he was involved in the death of more believers as well. But when Jesus miraculously appeared to him, he was stricken with fear and fell to the ground. Thus began his pursuit of God and his profound ministry.
Paul is saying in verse 16 that this woe, this calling to preach the gospel, was by necessity laid upon him. It was necessary for Jesus to work in his life the exact way that he worked in order to bring forth the things that he brought forth in Paul.
Without knowing it, Paul had been pursuing God without seeking the Savior. He had a call on his life but he did not know the correct path to follow in order to fulfill it. You also have this exact call. Jesus came to you, sought you out, found you where you were and rescued you. He always comes to those whose hearts are seeking after him.
When Jesus appeared to Paul, he was born again and a few days later he was filled with the Holy Spirit. But much more happened — he received a clear call on his life. He knew he had to preach the gospel and win souls.
Jesus came to save you, but he also came to call you! You are a chosen instrument to carry his name to the unsaved.
The world today no longer accepts a belief system rooted in tradition and complacency, that is, “doing church” the way we’ve always done it. The next generation will either see the power of God working in their lives in real, tangible ways, or they’ll have no use for our message and no interest in following our Savior.
The days of stale denominations filled with lukewarm believers are over. The ones that aren’t already dead and buried soon will be. I feel sorry that they will never experience the joy of reaching the world for Jesus and seeing what he could do through and in them as a church body if they would only open up and allow him.
But I’m not discouraged, because I’ve seen the future of the body of Christ, and it’s an exciting one. God is doing a work today in the hearts of young people that is as real and dynamic as any revival in recorded history. Every day my ministry takes me into the lives of inner-city kids, the most unreachable souls in our society. These kids are as hard and angry and lost as any group on earth. Yet our message is getting through to them. The walls are coming down. They are coming to Christ in great numbers, and when they do, their newfound faith is genuine and life-changing.
Many of these kids become our most powerful and effective evangelists. The Holy Spirit burns within them like a furnace, a raging holy fire in their souls, just waiting to explode upon the world. God is loosing his Spirit on these kids in magnificent ways and they’re turning their worlds upside down.
What would happen if every believer in this country caught that kind of passion and vision? What if we allowed God’s Spirit to release his power in our lives as he has in the lives of these kids? If we did so, the world would never be the same!
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.