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You’ve more than likely heard the parable about a farmer who scatters seed. Some of it gets eaten by birds, some sprouts and dies, and others are choked out by thorns. And then there’s this golden seed that lands in perfect soil and bears a lot of fruit. You’ve also likely heard that you are the good soil because you’re a Christian. But what if you’re not?
The 4 Types of Soil Jesus Talks About & What They Mean
The pitfall of the pathway is that it’s not made of soil at all. This is hard packed earth or perhaps pavement that is so solid, nothing can penetrate it. When the seed is scattered on the pathway of life, the birds fly down and eat it.
Which soil type is this in life? This is the callous person who ignores the Gospel completely because they don’t understand a single bit of it. Not only are they not open to the Word being planted in their lives, that Word is picked away by the evil one. They do not ponder it or even see a need for it. (Mt 13:19)
Now, rocky soil is a bit different. Seed scattered here sprouts up quickly. On the surface, it all looks good…until a hot sun withers the crop. Because there was no depth of root system to keep the plants watered and nourished, they died quickly.
Which soil type is this? This is the life that hears the Word and embraces it, with enthusiasm even! They start to do things for the glory of God, praise Him joyfully, and even make changes to their lives.
Then disappointment and persecution enter, and they tuck aside their faith. Because they were not firmly rooted in Jesus they did not have what it takes to sustain their faith from the Living Water. (Mt 13:20-21)
Seeds sown among thorns get choked out. They struggle to live and grow, but ultimately are unable to bear fruit because of what is around them.
Which soil type is this in life? Jesus explains that this is the life that hears the Word, but is so overcome by cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches that those things eclipse the Gospel in their lives. (Mt 13:22)
Seed sown in good soil is a beautiful thing. It does what it was intended to do: it grows roots beneath the surface, thrives above the surface, and bears fruit that leads to a bountiful harvest.
Which soil type is this in life? This is the life that hears the Word, understands the Word, is changed by the Word, and bears fruit for the Kingdom. (Mt 13:23)
Which Soil Type is Your Life?
Whenever you read a parable and Jesus’ explanation of it, it’s so important to check your life with the lesson He is teaching. So how would you do this? You ask yourself:
Are you the path?
Are you hearing things, but they are getting picked off by the enemy?
The obvious conclusion to draw is that this is an unbeliever, but it’s not always.
Sometimes it can be a hurt and wounded heart that is closed to the truth. People come and offer Biblical wisdom and godly counsel, but if this is you, you shut them out. You are in self-protection mode and wearing armor so thick and hard it can’t be cracked for anything to get through.
Is this you? If so, pray and ask God to break up your hard, packed earthen heart so that His truth can begin to [once again] take root.
Are you the rocky ground?
Are you hearing the truth and quickly embracing it, but not seeing lasting changes in your life?
Many people mistakenly believe this is someone who hears the Gospel and acts like they are saved, but hasn’t really made a change.
But what if it’s also someone who is a new Christian that needs discipleship?
Is this you (or someone in your life that you can mentor closer to Jesus)? If this is you, you’ll notice that you love to hear the Word of God brought forth and get super fired up about it.
You might make a vow to change a habit or thought process while listening to your pastor preach on Sunday morning, but by Thursday afternoon you’re doing exactly what you’ve always done.
This happens when you get enamored with ideas and teachings, but don’t spend time in the Word and prayer.
Are you the thicket of thorns?
This one is so hard to read about, isn’t it? The seen takes root and is choked out.
Are the seeds God is planting in your life right now getting choked out? Jesus said the thorns represent the cares of this world and the deceptions of wealth.
Is everyday stress getting to you? Is chasing a big dream of money or job promotion or lifestyle distracting you from your God-created purpose?
It happens. Are you there right now?
Are you good soil?
Are you in a place where when you read the Bible and pray, you are fruit-bearing? Are you out there witnessing to people and leading them to Jesus, then discipling them?
This soil isn’t about getting fat and happy as a Christian, it’s about bringing in a harvest.
The lie so many of us have believed for too long is that we are good soil if we are learning about God and loving Him.
However, the Bible says that seed planted in good soil bears fruit and a harvest that multiplies.
Are you multiplying lives for the Kingdom?
If not, then your soil might not be as good as you think.
Which Soil Type Do You Want To Become?
Now that you’ve honestly answered which soil type you are, it’s time to look at which soil type you want to become.
Obviously, you want to be the good soil, right?
So how do you get there?
If your heart is hard because of hurt, anger, or even just exhaustion it’s time to let God heal you.
If your heart is eager for the Word but shallow, it’s time to buckle down and discipline yourself to grow deeper into God.
If your heart is thorny because you are worrying and stressing and pursuing things in the ‘now’ that will disappear in eternity, you need to re-focus your time, your thoughts, and your life.
It’s so important to recognize that these types of soil are not “saved” or “unsaved” but rather seasons of a Christian’s walk with God. Identify the season you are in and run out of it if it’s not where you belong.