When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side (Matthew 13:19, KJV)
The parable of the sower lays the foundational principles guiding the operation of the kingdom of God. It tells us how God works in our lives. In this parable, a farmer went out to sow seeds in his field, and as he scattered the seeds, some of them fell on the road, rocky ground, amongst thorns, and on fertile ground. Each of these categories reveals mysteries of how different people respond to the Word of God. The group that received the seed on the road is of interest to us today.
Jesus explains that when someone hears the Word of God and does not understand it, the wicked one steals that which was sown in his heart. Understanding establishes the Word in the heart and prevents Satan from stealing it! The key point to drive home here is not just the mystery of Satan stealing the Word from a man’s heart but the fact that understanding establishes the Word in a man’s heart and prevent it from being moved.
For God’s Word to be established in our heart, talk less of producing results, you have to understand it. I wrote a devotional a few days back about the mind and discussed its critical importance in spiritual matters. The understanding discussed here is first and foremost natural, mental understanding. You must first know and understanding LITERALLY what God is saying for you to understanding SPIRITUALLY. When you pick up the Bible and read through it, it is critical you understand what is being said. It can be this simple. I sometimes thought that it does not really matter if I understood LITERALLY what I was reading, the most important part is that I should have it in my heart or commit it to memory. No! The Word is not magic. It penetrates your being through understanding. What you do not understand is lost spiritually, even if it remains in your memory.
Seek to understand the scriptures. Do not make the mistake of thinking this means trying to understand some “deep meaning” or secret revelation. There is value in going deeper but that is not the point here. The scripture is not written in some barbaric language we cannot understand what the authors were saying. Even unbelievers can mentally understand the words in the scripture because they are written with our everyday language. They might not understand the spiritual insights but they will understand what is being said. These natural and spiritual understanding are both important for you to get the Word to be established in your life.
Was the Bible written in some strange language that only special people can understand it? What happens if you do not understand the scriptures you read?
APPLY THE WORD
Spiritual understanding builds on natural understanding. If you do not understand naturally the verse you have read, then you will certainly not have the spiritual understanding. For example, in the parable of the sower, the scripture says “ a sower went forth to sow”. You do not need any special study to understand this. The meaning is clear, a farmer went out to plant seeds. This is natural understanding, and it is the bedrock for spiritual understanding. Do not just fill your mind with scriptures without understanding. Seek to understand naturally what you are reading. When I read a verse that is difficult to understand what it is saying naturally, I simply turn over to a version such as the Amplified Version. This is sometimes all that is required. You do not necessarily always need extensive study. Just make sure you understand what you are reading, as this natural understanding is the bedrock for spiritual understanding.
Ask the Lord to help you grow in the understanding of the scripture, both in the natural and spiritual.