Ready the Surface

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

“And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, [Jesus] said in a parable,  ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold…’

“‘The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.  The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.’” Luke 8:4-8,11-15

Steady hard rain falls soundlessly from a heavy blue-grey sky, save for the different sounds it makes hitting surfaces: splats on tile, plops on the water’s surface, splashing thuds from the gutters onto pavers, drumming on the metal roof, wet tickly whooshes in the wriggling trees. Don’t we similarly receive the rain of God’s word?

God’s living word comes to us silent on paper, or a screen, or through the air with sound, but the surface on which it falls makes all the difference. Dry, resistant minds, stone rock hearts, and sin-thorny attitudes all fail to receive its life-giving power. Readied, open hearts and minds receive its nourishment unto growth, change, blossoming forth in new and beautiful life.

How often do I drink in the Word of life, light, and truth? How readily do I receive God’s words of instruction, conviction, correction? (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)

How will we prepare each day to receive new revelation of character, fresh understanding of His ways, deeper knowledge of the scope of salvation? Would I deliberately offer myself a living sacrifice, yielded to His will and useful for His work? If I allow the Word to soak deep, it will reach all resistance, soften hard stubbornness, expose foreign affections that have infiltrated, and loosen and uproot bitterness. (Romans 12:1-2)

Lord, let Your word fall steadily and long on me, blow Your Spirit into and all around me, and soak deeply into my heart, mind, and soul. Awaken eager response to holiness and the praise of Your greatness.

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