Hear! Retain! Persevere!
When it comes to studying math or science, I just can’t read a lesson once and have it down. I can’t study it today, put it aside and forget about it, and still know the material next week. I have to pursue the subject and look at it from different angles. I have to go back and review the material a week from now, a month from now, and a year from now. That’s how I learn something and make it a permanent part of my life. I have to dig in and explore it until it becomes second nature to me.
The spiritual world is the same way. I’ve GOT to hear. I’ve GOT to retain. I’ve GOT to persevere in Truth in order to produce a crop that’s a hundred times larger than what was sown. I’ve got to work the truth, run it through my fingers, and think about it. God told the Israelites to bind His Word to their foreheads and write it on the doorframes of their homes. Surely He would be pleased if I wrote it on a note, put it in my pocket, and pulled it out to review it and pray about it often. It’s a foolish person who wastes the opportunity to hold on to God’s precious Word!
“Today, if you hear God’s voice, do not harden your hearts.” Be good soil!
I cannot, I will not, be lazy and careless with the jewels that God gives me and expect to grow spiritually. The truth is that I make my own future through choices that seem small—being conscious of God, getting up in the middle of the night to write something down that I’ve remembered, stopping everything when God is asking me to pray, or saying “I’m sorry” if I’ve hurt someone.
Those are crossroads and decisions that will determine MY future.
Jesus said that the road to destruction is broad and easy. Many will be on that road. If you train yourself to make sloppy choices and lazy decisions, you’ll find yourself on the broad road. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Jesus said that there is a narrow way that leads to Life. Because it’s more challenging, few people choose that path. But you can be one of those few who declare, “I want to be soft. I want to take the road that leads towards Jesus. I want to hear, retain, and persevere in God’s Word. I want to be conscious of God. I want to keep a desire for other things from crowding out His Word in my heart.”
The cry of my heart will not be, “I want. I want.” Instead I will ask, “What do YOU want, God?”
Those choices will determine spiritual greatness! Those choices to be good soil will allow my heart to become a flourishing garden. Then God will be able to direct my steps and bless me as He chooses.