Did the Word Fail?
Yesterday morning, we had our friend, Ron Campbell, minister at Overflow Church. Ron is a prophet, and we love his ministry. We are always encouraged to have the Lord bring outside voices to speak—or to confirm—what He is already speaking to our congregation. Sometimes when a word comes and we don’t see the fulfillment of it, we can easily dismiss the vessel or the word that was given as "off." I don’t think that is always the case.
Sometimes when we read the Word (scripture) and see what it says about our lives or our situations, our experience does not line up. Some folks will dismiss the prophetic word and say it’s not truth because it didn’t "work for them." It doesn’t mean the word is not true but it is apparent something isn’t right.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed,
but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV)
It could be that the one presenting the word was "off." It could be that we are misinterpreting the scripture. Yet there is a third option.
The condition of our heart.
In Mark chapter 4, there is a parable about the sower and the seed (see below). In this story, we see the same seed being sown yet only 1 out of the 4 times did the seed produce what it was intended to produce. Jesus likens the seed to the word.
Verse 14 “The farmer sows the word.”
The Word of God is not sometimes true, it's always true. It is the incorruptible, indestructible, inerrant, eternal word of God made ineffective. Wow! The infinitely powerful word of God is limited; limited by the human heart.
Let that sink in: Our heart can limit the word of God.
Now, our heart does not change the word, it doesn’t rob the word of its power, however, it is rendered ineffective by the condition of the heart that receives it. The potential of God’s life-giving word is contingent upon our capacity to receive it. Hard hearts, shallow hearts, and hearts that are consumed with worldly desires, can limit the power of God in our lives.
I want to encourage you to keep your heart ready to receive the word of God. Whether it be when somebody speaks the word over you through a message or prophetic gifting, or when you are having your daily time in the word. Keep your heart ready!
Here are five ways to nurture the condition of your heart, and help get your heart tender and ready for the word. Tenderness makes the soil of our heart fertile for producing fruit.
1- Pray- Before you read. Before you hear. Then pray again after. Pray that the word takes root in your heart and produces fruit.
2-Ask God For Forgiveness- Of offenses you are holding onto, or bitterness of your heart towards others.
3-Worship & Praise God- Spend time reflecting on the beauty of God. Nothing will bring tenderness like thinking about greatness and expressing gratitude for all that He has done.
4-Heart To Heart- Have heart to heart conversations with people. Talk about your hurts, your pain, your anger. Not to rant, but simply to express what you are wrestling with.
5-Read It Again- And again until it gets in you. The very thing that we need in the soil of our heart is the thing that will make that heart tender! Read it, memorize it, print it, and stick it on the fridge. Write it on the bathroom mirror with a marker. Get into the word until the word gets into you!
Get into the Word until the Word gets into you!
Mark 4:1-20 (NIV) 1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! 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, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 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. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”