Being prayed with for more of the Holy Spirit a number of years ago made a huge difference in my life. It opened my heart and mind more to God’s word and helped the soil of my heart be more fertile for the Lord’s purpose in all aspects of my life. While I am still very capable of messing up, experiencing the Holy Spirit in a fuller way has helped me be more attentive to God’s purpose and will.
The Parable of the Sower may illustrate. (See Mark 4:1-20) A farmer went out to sow seed. Some of the seed fell along the path and birds came and snatched it up, which Jesus likened to Satan taking the word away as soon as it is heard. Some fell on rocky soil, where it was not able to take root. Jesus said these were people who hear the word, but because it does not take root, as soon as they encounter trouble or persecution, they fall away. Some of the seed fell among thorns where it started to grow but was choked by the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things. Finally, some seed fell on good soil which grew and multiplied thirty, sixty and even a hundred times.
Notice how Jesus observes that people whose soil accepts God’s word may produce different size crops. The more fertile the soil, the greater the yield of the seed, the more fruit it produces in a person’s life, and the more a person can be used by God to fulfill his purpose and will.
Jesus is always knocking on the door of our hearts, waiting for us to invite him into our lives. We have to be intentional in opening the door and inviting him in. Once we invite him in, we need to spend time with him in prayer and with his word as given to us in Holy Scripture. If we are a part of a sacramental church, we should partake in all of the available sacraments, for we receive God’s special grace through them. The Holy Spirit is particularly beneficial in opening our minds and hearts to the meaning of God’s word and his will for us in the daily choices of our lives.
John tells us that the Word existed before all else and was God; and that the Word became flesh in Jesus. (John 1: 1, 14) Paul tells us that the Word of God is Spirit and is living. (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17) The Psalmist tells us that the Word is flawless. (Ps. 18:30 NIV) May we prepare the soil of our heart so that the Word yields a harvest many times what is sown. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
What is the condition of your soil to receive and nurture God’s Word?