“But he that received the seed in stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he is offended.” (Mat 13:20 – 21) “And these are they likewise who are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” (Mark 4:16 – 17) “Those on the rock are they, who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who for awhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” (Luke 8:13)
Read this parable of the sower carefully. It affects us all. We all want to hear the good Word of God. We all want to discover His vision for our lives and walk in that, and when that is shown us, we usually receive it with great joy. But when pressures (tribulations) or persecutions come because of the word, the vision, the hope, the instruction, etc that God has given you (and it will come) what is your response? Do you lose heart? Do you let the vision, the dream, the word God gave you slip away?
Testing Comes Before Deployment
Are you faced with that right now? I know many of you are. It is an hour of testing and testing comes before deployment. Here is why many of you have let go… “You have no root in yourself”. This is not a statement of condemnation but rather a shining of light to a cause that is quite rectifiable.
When the Word comes, the reason it develops no root is not because of any lack or deficiency in the quality of the Word. It is because you have not allowed the Word to penetrate deeply into your heart. Your heart is the soil and you must allow that Word to work deeply within you. If you fail to do that, there will be no root and you will fall away from the Word God gave you.
Here’s how you can do that… Use what I call, the “W.A.S.P. Principle”. When I was 11 years old, I made the mistake of disturbing a wasp nest and got a very bad sting in the middle of my back. For years it looked I had a bulls eye in my back because of the pronounced red circle the sting left. I never forgot that wasp and I hope you will never forget this simple, yet valuable tool…
Write it out
I often write out a Scripture verse in long hand and carry it with me. I want to remember it and writing it out and reviewing it often helps me keep it near the top of my memory.
This is where so many fail… They enjoy hearing the word but prefer not to obey it or apply it to their life. This takes effort but results in transformation (Rom 12:2) When it says, “Thou shall not steal” for example, do you ever ask the Lord to show you how that might apply to you? Do you steal time, paperclips or photocopies from your employer? Do you rob God? Do you allow the theft of your time? Do you withhold affection as retribution? What about “Bind mercy and truth around your neck”? Do you ever stop and think what it looks like for you to bind mercy around your neck? Do you ever ask the Lord to show you how you can be merciful in business without becoming a doormat? Apply what you learn if you want to embed it in your memory.
We steer our course with the words of our mouth. (James 3) We tend also to believe what comes out of our mouth and it is self reinforcing to speak the Word. We tend to commit to memory what we rehearse with our mouth.
Meditating on the Word need not be some mystical practice done in a monastery. Direct your mind to the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, even while you drive your car, prepare a meal or enjoy an outdoor walk.
Use some or all of these four strategies anytime you want to be sure to retain something important in your memory because as Proverbs 10:14 says, “the wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.”