February 19 - The Word and the Warfare
The Word of God is key to our faith and our spiritual growth, it must be implanted securely in our hearts for our lives to grow and bear fruit. Paul says in the Book of Romans that faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God. The Word then becomes the main area of attack in the lives of the believers.
We are at war and we have enemies whose intention is to destroy our faith in God through taking away the Word or stop the Word from growing and taking roots in our lives. David’s psalms are filled with references to his enemies who did not care for the Lord and His works. The wicked and the evildoers carry a dark agenda to destroy the people of God. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus identifies the three enemies we face in our Christian walk.
The birds in the parable are the devil and his cohorts. The birds eat away the seeds that fall on the wayside. The wayside is hard ground due to constant trampling upon by human feet. The devil uses many ways to harden our hearts so that the Word cannot take root. Most of our hearts have been stepped on, wounded by harsh words or unkind actions of others. All of us go through life with hurts and bruises, leading to callousness and hardness of heart. When the seeds of the Word fall on hard ground, no growth will result and the birds would come and eat the seeds.
Our second enemy is our flesh. We want to preserve and protect ourselves from all harm and attack. The ideal life is one that is easy and without stress or pressure. Persecutions can cause a lot of resentment and anguish to the point that the Word has no effect in our lives. The sun, representing the hardships of life, dries up the plant and it dies. For those who love their lives more than they love the Lord, they will shy away from following the Lord with the coming of persecutions.
The third enemy is the world and the things of the world. If we love the world, the love of God is not in us. The world comes into our lives through worries, the snare of riches and our own desires. The enemy is constantly creating depravations in our lives, causing us to want more and more without satisfaction. The popular cultures direct us to follow the crowd and compare with others and find out what we do not have. This, again, is the scheme of the enemy. Our hearts would be so preoccupied that the growth is very minimal.
So the birds, the sun and the thorns are constantly present in our lives to take the Word of God from us. We get hurt, get treated unfairly, worry about our lives and become self focused. The more we focus on ourselves, the more we are under attack; the more we focus on God and His Word, the more we can overcome.
Ps 28:1-9 Lev 7:28 - 9:6 Mark 3:31-4:25 Prov 10:5