“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” — Matthew 13:18–19 (NIV84)
There is an enemy among us! There is a being so evil that his desire is to kill and destroy us. When the Word of God is read or shared, he is always there to create doubt and uncertainty. The greatest tool in his arsenal is his anonymity. He has convinced people that he doesn’t exist. He has convinced them that the twist of truth he offers is actually a logical deduction in their brains. There IS an enemy among us!
In this parable about the kingdom of heaven, Jesus spoke of Himself as a sower who sows seed everywhere He can. He sows seed along paths, under bushes, near fence lines, and on turned-over ground. He so desperately wants His seed to be planted in the hearts of people, He sows the seed everywhere they may be. Jesus described those on the path as people who don’t immediately understand the message of the kingdom. Their hearts are hard and they refuse to see the kingdom of God from Jesus’ perspective. They want the kingdom of God and Jesus to be what they want them to be. They commit the most silent form of idolatry. They worship the God they have created in their own image. Jesus says that the evil one steps in and confirms their doubt and supports their rejection of the seed sown in their heart and snatches the seed away.
The challenge we have as Christians is to maintain a kingdom of heaven perspective. We must see ourselves and the world around us as God sees us and others, or we will misinterpret what the Lord is doing in our lives. How do we practically do that? Well, here is what Tom Donnelly tries to practice. First, I say to myself, “Tom, your perspective is probably not correct.” This forces me to challenge my first assumption. Second, I contemplate how I think God sees the situation or circumstance I am in. This reminds me that God’s perspective is the one that ultimately matters. Third, I read God’s Word, and I pray for discernment. God promises in this parable that His seed will do its work on the ground that is open to receive it. Last, I decide on the perception that is consistent with the kingdom of heaven. A decision must be made, and a direction must be taken. This keeps the evil one off guard and keeps us focused on the truths of the kingdom.
Let’s commit to a kingdom of heaven perspective!