Have you been waiting to receive God’s promises in your life? God’s Word is clear—His will for you is wholeness, abundance, peace and blessing in every area of your life. But maybe today there are areas in your life where His will isn’t being done—pressing needs and desires about which His promises don’t seem to be manifesting.
If this resonates with you, it’s time to go to the garden of your heart and see if it’s in prime condition to reap a harvest of God’s promises. Learn to cultivate the kind of soil that receives all God has for you by checking your heart vitals, evaluating your love walk and avoiding blessing blockers.
Check Your Heart Vitals
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” –2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV
What kind of heart do you have? The answer reveals your ability to receive from God. When you go to the doctor for a physical, the first thing he or she examines is the condition of your heart because the heart is critical to the total function of your body.
The same is true of your spiritual heart. God always looks at the heart in every matter (1 Samuel 16:7). Outward deeds are not always evidence of the state of one’s heart, but He knows the condition of our hearts—regardless of how we might appear to the world.
Jesus used the parable of the sower in Mark 4:15-20 to illustrate four kinds of heart soil. The seed sown in this parable represents the Word of God (Mark 4:14). While there is only ONE type of heart soil that receives from God, it is important to be willing to take an honest look at each one to determine which one describes you. No matter where you find yourself today—be encouraged—you can choose to move into the one heart category that will make the manifestation you need a reality in your life!
Heart Soil No. 1—The Pavement-Like Heart
The first type of heart is one that Jesus describes as “those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them” (Mark 4:15, AMPC).
These are people who hear the Word, but there is no harvest, or result. For example, they hear the message of the gospel, but they don’t get saved. Satan may have told them that they weren’t good enough, or perhaps that it would cost them too much. At other times, pride and selfishness allow the devil to come and steal their seed. The result is always the same: Seed that is stolen means there is no seed to yield a harvest.
Heart Soil No. 2—The Stony-Ground Heart
The second type of heart Jesus describes is the stony-ground heart. When seeds are sown on “stony ground,” they have no real root in themselves, and so while these people endure for a little while; when trouble or persecution arises, they immediately stumble and fall away (Mark 4:16-17).
These are people who have no root of the Word of God. Think of what a root does for a plant. It nourishes it, feeds it and anchors it during a storm. These people stumble and fall away from the Word when adversity comes their way. Instead of holding on to the Word of God to see them through the storms in life, they let it go. The end result is they, like those with pavement-like hearts, do not receive the promises of God, or a harvest.
Heart Soil No. 3—The Thorny-Ground Heart
The third type of heart soil Jesus describes is the thorny-ground heart. These are people who “hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19, NKJV).
Most Christians will likely say, “I don’t fit this category. I have good soil.” However, many Christians fall into the thorny-heart category. If you take a look at their lives, they really aren’t bearing much fruit in the areas of healing, prosperity and deliverance. So, what could be happening?
At first, they get excited about the Word of God. They’ll hear a message on prosperity, for instance, and they’ll go home saying, “Hallelujah! I’m going to prosper in the Name of Jesus!”
But, over time, worries, fears and troubles become more real than the truth in God’s Word. This heart puts more stock in what the world says than what God says. In doing so, they forfeit their harvest.
Heart Soil No. 4—The Good-Soil Heart That Receives
This is where we all want to be! This is where manifestation lives. So, how is this soil different from the other three? In Mark 4:20, Jesus makes it very simple when He says the good-soil hearts are “the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit,” (ESV). That means, not only do you accept the Word, but you cultivate what has been sown.
To cultivate means to feed your heart with the Word of God and let the Word be the final authority in every decision you make. Once your soil is cultivated, it is ripe for God to give the increase. Then, the time will come when you can “put in the sickle” for your kingdom harvest.
Sure, you’ll get knocked down sometimes. But when you do, get back up and say, “Look here, Devil, I’m not going to let you steal the Word out of my heart. It’s in there and I’m meditating on it. I’m saying it with my mouth, and I’m acting on it until God’s blessings overtake me. If you don’t believe me, just hide and watch!”
If you’ll take that attitude, no matter what that devil does, he’ll never make a “thorny-ground” Christian out of you!
Evaluate Your Love Walk
“If I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
After you’ve checked heart vitals, it’s time to evaluate your love walk. How do you treat people? How do you talk to and about them? Are you bitter? Have you forgiven? These are things every believer needs to consider when seeking a manifestation of the promises of God.
Offense is one of the most crippling things the devil has ever come up with. You can be sure he will give you plenty of opportunities to get offended.
What is the answer? Become so filled with love that offense can’t come near you. We must learn to live in love, walk in love, talk in love and edify one another in love. Then when the pressures come, when the hard times come, when disasters approach us, we won’t have to stop and think. We will immediately react in love.
Avoid Blessing Blockers
“Every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
1 John 5: 4
The next step to cultivating a heart that receives is to avoid filling your heart with blessing blockers. Jesus talked about the thorny heart in Mark 4:18-19, and we identified it as a type of heart that many Christians today have. Just like a natural garden needs tending to remove and keep thorns and thistles out, so does your heart.
We must be diligent to not let the thorns, or blessing blockers, in our hearts. What are the types of thorns that can crop up in your heart? Mark 4:18-19 reveals three.
The Cares of the World
Most often, these include concerns about health, finances, marriage and children. This can be a daily struggle, but the bottom line is, you can’t be in fear and walk in faith at the same time. If you want to cultivate a heart that produces a hundredfold harvest, you must seek to drive worry, fear and anxiety out of your life by learning to trust God and by putting your faith in His Word concerning every issue in your life.
The Deceitfulness of Riches
We know that prospering is a good thing—it is God’s will for us to be blessed financially. What is outside of His will, however, is when money or material possessions become the most important priority in your life. If money or making money becomes more important to you than spending time in the Word, attending church, or spending time with your family, it has become a heart issue—a thorn that is stealing your blessing from you.
A Longing for Other Things
Mark 4:19 calls these “the lusts of other things” (KJV). This can also be described as foolishness or folly. So, where are believers finding folly? Well…every television set, movie theater, radio and magazine stand…just to name a few. With hundreds of cable channels and the internet, it’s not difficult to find an unlimited supply of foolishness to feed on! When you spend more time consuming worldly entertainment than the Word of God, your heart will become cluttered and take on thorns that crowd out THE BLESSING.
When you check your vitals, evaluate your love walk and avoid blessing blockers, you will be cultivating a heart that receives every promise from the Word of God. You will have a good-soil heart that opens the door for blessing. You won’t have to wonder why your manifestation hasn’t come—you’ll know it’s on the way. And that is the life of blessing God intends for you to live!
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