What are you giving your ears to?
In the context of sowing seeds, Jesus made a statement that I’ve been pondering for months. He had just finished teaching on a parable about a farmer who had dispersed seeds across the ground. The seeds represent the Word of God according to Jesus (Luke 8:11)and there is no greater truth source than the Word of God (John 17:17). The Word is impervious to time, and while grass withers and flowers fade, the Word of God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). His Word is so powerful that by the exercise of His will, we were brought forth by its declaration (James 1:21).
It is for reasons such as these that we must give our ears to the Word—and nothing else should be allowed to take root in our hearts. Jesus discussed one type of soil as having thorns growing up and choking the Word. What are thorns? In the context of this passage, thorns are evidence that the soil has been exposed to foreign seeds. In other words, this indicates that a person has allowed their ears to be subject to things other than the Word of God. In the case of the parable that Jesus told, the fruit of thorns was worries, riches, and pleasures of life. These things choke out the Word and impede the maturity of a Christian.
Other “bad” fruit can spring up when we expose our ears to wrong seeds. Bitterness, jealousy, offense, or unforgiveness, for example, can indicate that we’re giving our ears to things other than the Word of God. Our lives will always give evidence of what we’re listening to. Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). What we listen to will be revealed by what is released from our life; bad fruit indicates bad seeds. And the only way bad seeds end up in the soil of our heart is that we’ve been negligent concerning what we’ve allowed to be sown into our spirit.
Jesus went on to say, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). What you’re listening to will eventually be repeated. Take inventory of the words that you’ve spoken in the last six months. Have they been edifying? Are your words filled with life or are you repeating gossip or slanderous information about other people? Keep in mind that this includes the kinds of things that you write about people on Facebook or the internet. Some believers seem to make it their mission to denigrate those who they disagree with. My question is what are they exposing their ears to that would allow such “thorny” words to proceed from their mouth?
Luke 18:8, Jesus states, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given.” More of what will they be given? The answer is more of what they are listening to. I’m sure that you have heard the phrase “like spirits attract like spirits.” If you feast your ears upon rumors and slander, you’ll likely be a candidate to receive more of the same. People with this kind of slanderous spirit will find you and fill your hearts with seeds of dissension because you’ve acquired an appetite of listening to those types of things.
On the other hand, if you have been giving your ears to the Word of God, then you’ve had the privilege to receive revelation. Revelation is a word that means to remove the veil or to expose unseen truth. Paul actually prayed for the believers in Ephesus to have a spirit of revelation because they needed their eyes opened to greater truths in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:17). So when Jesus says whoever has, to him more will be given, He’s challenging us to live from revelation to revelation. If we’re careful to allow only the right seed to be sown into our hearts, the fruit of our lives will attract the potential of an increased harvest of that very same seed.
Jesus also said that we would have an abundance of what we already have (Matthew 25:29). In the context of these verses, Jesus was referring to our ability to properly steward what has been given to us; and if we do, then there is an increase of the very same thing. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus was referring to an increase of resources. In Luke 19:11-27, He was referring to an increase of responsibility. But in Luke 8:18, the context of these verses point toward listening to the Word of God.
The point is, be careful to what you listen to. Don’t expose your ears to harmful seeds; otherwise, your life will be filled with things that could choke or stifle your spiritual progress. Several years ago, I allowed three bails of straw to sit in my garden for several months and as a result, I dealt with the fallout of bad seeds for two years later. I tend my garden carefully so as to protect the fruit and when I do, it enhances the fruit production.
Give your ears to the Word of God. Live on the revelation that comes from God’s seed planted into your spirit. If you do, then your revelation will lead to an even greater revelation; and you will have an abundance to give away.
Jesus, my ears belong to you. Plant your Word into my heart. With your help, I will not listen to the wrong kind of seed, amen.