Do you want God's best for your life? I don't believe any of us would ever say no to that question. Yet, I do believe the answer calls for a decision-a decision of the heart.
Consider the parable of the sower in the Book of Mark. It was always amazing to me about the 30, 60 and 100 fold returns. I mean, who would want just 30 when they could have 60, and who would want 60 if they could have 100, right?
What was really outstanding to me was that as the sower went along, the Bible says he continued to spread seed "of the same kind." That really says a lot to me. That means it's not the seed, but it must be the ground that determines the harvest. The seed is always the same.
In other words, God is always the same. He always offers us His best. As the Sower, He "spreads" His love freely to us. He is generous with His grace and mercy, and whosoever will can receive from Him. His anointing and power are readily available as we have need.
So if that's the case, what do you want out of life…out of your relationship with God? Do you want a 30, 60 or 100 fold return?
And here's the big question: Are you willing to do what God asks of you in order to have His best for you?
The way I see it, it's a question of the condition of your "soil," or heart. The ground in the story represents different conditions of our lives. These heart conditions determine how much of a harvest-how much of the blessings of the Lord-we receive.
There will never be a question that God loves us. He loves each of us right now as much as He ever will. That will never ever change. We each need to be rooted and grounded in this Truth-that we are loved completely, perfectly, and unconditionally. This is the foundation for the condition of our heart. The more rooted we are in the love of God; the less likely we are to be shaken by the trials of life or to question our faith when troubles arise.
Because the truth is we will all suffer trials and tribulations in life. But it's not the suffering that glorifies God; it's our attitude in the midst of suffering that glorifies Him. Much of our suffering is permitted by God so we can see our level of faith. Just be determined not to give up and He will see you through.
Another key issue in the midst of tribulation is obedience, sometimes even loss, in order to gain. Testing is a large part of a Christian's growth and development. You may be tested in the area of a dream you have for your life. Maybe God asks you to lay it down. Will you…with a good attitude? Maybe He allows you to experience lack so that you can appreciate abundance even more. Will you praise Him when you're abased as well as when you abound?
I'll never forget a time when my husband, Dave, and I were living from paycheck to paycheck. God had told me to quit my job (and I was making as much money as Dave, mind you) to begin preparing for my ministry. It got hard. There were many times I was tempted to go back to work. But I was determined to be obedient to God. During that time, I would go to garage sales to find things to meet our basic needs, because that's what we could afford. One day, a minister friend of mine stopped by the house after a speaking engagement to share how financially blessed he'd been. It was so hard to rejoice with him! But I was still determined to be obedient…with a good attitude. I was committed to what God was doing in me. Soon after this, we began to experience more financial breakthroughs. But it wasn't before my motives and my attitude and my commitment had all been tested.
My point here is this: The condition of our heart is what determines how deeply God's Word will take root and grow in us-whether we receive the 30-, the 60- or 100-fold return. He is always the same…His Word does not change.
So, what is the soil of your heart like? Is it rocky…does the first sign of trouble or persecution make you stumble? Is it thorny…where anxiety and distractions can choke the Word in you? Or is it good, well-adapted soil that will eventually bear much fruit in your life?
Whatever your heart condition may be, you can change, by God's grace, if you need to. God is always working to bring a harvest in your life if your heart is right with Him. Remember, the seed is always the same.