Cultivating The Soil
of Our Heart
Wade E Taylor
"Behold, a sower went forth to sow ... and when he
some seeds fell by the way side ... some fell upon stony
places ... and some fell among thorns ... but other fell
into good ground" Matt 13:3b,4a,5a,7a,8a.
"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" Matt
"He that received seed into the good ground is he that
the Word (of the Kingdom) and understandeth it; which also
beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred fold,
some sixty, some thirty" Matt 13:23.
The Word of God relates to us on two different levels of
our spiritual experience. The first is the quickened, anointed
Word that applies to our salvation. It edifies, gives meaning
to, and sets standards for our spiritual life and walk. On
this level, the emphasis is upon our knowing Jesus as Saviour
and receiving all that He gained for us through His atonement
upon the Cross. Here, we freely receive all that is available
to us. "Salvation" - "I have Jesus."
The second level begins with our dealing with the wayside,
stony places, and the thorns that hinder our spiritual growth.
It relates to our cultivating "good ground" in our
spiritual experience. The emphasis is upon the quickened,
anointed "Word of the Kingdom" which requests our
submission to His governmental rule in our lives. "...
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take
up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake
shall find it" Matt 16:24-25. Here, we take all that
we have received, plus ourselves, and give it back to Him,
submitting to His unconditional Kingdom authority over our
lives as we follow Him. "Kingdom" - "Jesus
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting
to continue in the faith, and that we must through much
tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God" Acts 14:22.
As we grow spiritually, in unfolding, developing layers of
understanding, theWord of God will progressively guide us
into the fullness of all that He has made both available (Salvation)
and attainable (Kingdom) for us. Salvation is a gift; the
Kingdom is not.
The thirteenth chapter of Matthew can rightly be applied
to our salvation experience, but it more fully sets forth
the principles that lead to our growth into a Kingdom relationship
with the Lord.
"And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know
of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all
things are done in parables" Mark 4:11.
Thus, the "good ground" represents our having an
experientially established and tested commitment to the "Word
of the Kingdom." Good ground does not just happen; it
is the result of an intensive time of cultivation and preparation
which produces within us a sensitivity to the workings of
the Holy Spirit and a capacity for a deeper understanding
of His ways.
The "seed" falling into good ground refers to our
hearing, understanding, and receiving the anointed, quickened
Word. This seed is the "substance" of the Word which
becomes within us "creative life" to bring forth
and accomplish the will and purpose of the Father.
Our part is to allow the Holy Spirit the complete freedom
to do whatever is necessary, both within us and through the
circumstances of our lives, to prepare the "soil"
to receive the seed. Once the seed (potential) is planted,
it must be left within the ground, buried and out of sight.
As we die to our own ways while the elements (circumstances)
work upon the soil that holds this seed, these together cause
its release up into our spiritual experience and understanding.
Then we are birthed into His higher calling and purpose where
Jesus will be seen through every aspect of our lives.
This seed will then bear fruit that will be in one of three
dimensions, depending upon the level of our obedience to,
and cooperation with the gardener, the Holy Spirit. It will
be harvested as either a thirty, sixty, or a one-hundred fold
increase. As we submit to this processing, we are partaking
of the workings of the Kingdom of God in its present power
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in
the which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy
thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that
field" Matt 13:44.
In the Song of Solomon, the Bride is twice exhorted to "Rise
up and come away" SS 2:10b and 2:13b. Much is available
to us through the free gift of salvation, but there is a present
working of Kingdom truth that is hidden from open view, which
is reserved for those who are willing to come apart and respond
to His higher calling.
"Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant
seeking goodly pearls" Matt 13:45.
The Lord sees the pearl, that portion of Himself which is
within us. He is the One who is able to bring this treasure
to the surface of the soil of our spiritual experience. Thus,
if we will sell all that we have and give our ALL to the Lord,
He will work in us to bring forth an abundant harvest. This
can only take place as we die to our own ways.
"The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard
which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed
is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is
the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that
the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches
thereof" Matt 13:31-32.
There is much that the Lord can and will do, even though
we may feel that we have little of His Word within us. As
insignificant as His Word within us may appear to be, the
Lord will mature us if we will patiently cultivate the "little"
that we have, and then wait upon Him.
The birds represent those who are spiritually needy. As the
presence and anointing of the Lord increasingly develops within
and rests upon us, those who are spiritually hungry will come
and lodge in the security of our "branches"(spiritual
experience) for the available shelter and aid they receive.
The quality of our spiritual experience will attract others.
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The
heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among
wheat, and went his way" Matt 13:24-25.
We must not only be receptive, but we must have careful discernment
to know those whom we allow to walk through our "garden"
(life experience) while it is being tilled and fertilized.
The quality of the harvest can be secured as we diligently
protect it from "weeds," yet give the Holy Spirit
adequate access and time to cast in more seed. We fertilize
the soil by setting apart time for a rich exposure to the
Word, and by fellowshipping with the Lord and with those who
truly know Him and have experienced His ways.
This is the day of preparation. It is the time in which we
receive the "seed" that will find its full fruition
and outworking in the Kingdom age. All this is dependent upon
our responses in the present hour. Those who have an eye and
ear for spiritual understanding will pay the price, whatever
the cost may be. And with the Apostle Paul, they will say,
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I
press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of
God in Christ Jesus" Phil 3:13-14.
Truly, "the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost"