Do you have a green thumb? Are you the type of person that can make anything grow? Or are you that person who can take a beautiful green plant and kill it overnight? I’m not sure why some people can make stuff grow and others can’t. I think it probably has something to do with the type of soil you’re using.
There’s an interesting story in the Bible where Jesus compares the human heart to soil. No, Jesus didn’t say you have a “dirty heart.” Get it? “Dirt”= Soil. “Dirty heart!” Comparing soil to your heart? Oh, never mind. Anyway, in this story Jesus is referring to the way people hear the Word of God. By the way, this really isn’t a story about different soils; rather it’s a story about the sower of seeds — but that’s another blog for another day.
There are three types of soil Jesus talks about in this story found in Luke 8:4-15. Why don’t you take a look at your heart as we think about these four different types of soul soil:
Someone else’s soil
Someone else is competing for your heart. Guys, there’s someone competing for your wife’s heart. Ladies, someone is trying to steal your husband’s heart. That someone is Satan. This is what Jesus is describing in Luke 8:5. In this kind of soil, people had an opportunity to hear from God but refused to listen.
Jesus really isn’t describing somebody who’s never heard about him. Rather, he’s talking about somebody who willingly rejects the message of God’s salvation. The reason why they reject God’s message is because they’re listening to the wrong voice. Jesus makes it clear in Luke 8:12 that this soul soil belongs to somebody who’s listening to the lies of Satan rather than listening to the word of God.
The second type of the soul soil is someone who has a shallow heart. Hard soil doesn’t mean that they don’t care. Instead, it suggests that their faith is shallow. Nothing grows in shallow soil!
The problem with shallow soil is that stuff immediately starts to grow. That doesn’t sound like a big problem right? Wrong. It’s only later that you realize the soil can’t sustain deep roots, so the stuff that starts to grow eventually won’t survive.
Jesus says this happens when people’s lives get tough (Luke 8:13). It’s during the difficult times you see how deep the soil really goes. It’s during hardships that you see how far down the roots actually reach. If hard times cause you to turn away from your faith, you have a hard soul.
Crowded soil is just as bad as hard soil (Luke 8:7). Your soul is crowded when it’s too busy to hear the small voice of your conscience. Your life is too crowded when you can’t hear God’s Spirit speaking to you.
In our society, just like 2000 years ago during Jesus’ time, two areas tend to crowd out God’s voice: anxiety and wealth (Luke 8:14). I can’t tell you how many people I know, who are so busy trying to make a living, or so busy trying to pay the bills, that they have no time for God. Because the life they live is too crowded, the only way God will get their attention, is if he gives them a major crisis. I hope you’re not living the life where it’s going to take a major crisis for God to get hold of your attention.
I think this is pretty cool. Jesus says that good soil is only determined over time. Typically, it’s through the hardships of life that you determine if your soul soil is truly rich (Luke 8:8). According to Jesus, perseverance produces good fruit. So I guess you can say, “Persevering= produce.” Your light shines brightest in dark circumstances. Your faith is most obvious when it’s going through the crucible of challenge. We are responsible to show the world the difference Jesus can make in our lives. Sometimes the greatest opportunity to do this is when you are suffering (Luke 8:15).
Don’t forget, God is the sower. He is spreading his Word. What is your soul soil like? Three types of soul soil are unable to produce fruit. It’s only the rich soil that produces a crop. Only the last type of soul soil will end up in Heaven.