4 Tips for Becoming Like Good Soil
In my previous post, we talked about different soils of the heart. The footpath didn’t receive God’s message. The rocky soil did, but couldn’t sustain its plant through tough times. The thorny soil also accepted the message. Unfortunately, other priorities stopped the plant from maturing. The good soil, however, took the seed and produced an amazing crop! How do we become like this good soil? (And why should we even care?)
Jesus explains the answer to his disciples. (I’ll get to why we should care towards the end of this post). Here’s my interpretation of what he said:
1. Take time to hear God.
Just like a relationship with a friend or loved one thrives from taking time, so we need to take time with God. Why? One reason is so we can hear him…so we can learn to know the sound of his voice. Jesus once gave an illustration of sheep following a trusted shepherd. They followed the shepherd because they recognized the shepherd’s voice. The sheep actually ran away from strangers . That’s impressive to me that sheep could make a distinction between shepherd and stranger. How about ourselves? I wonder if we are able to recognize the voice of God versus other voices out there.
2. Cling to God’s Word.
When I was around 12, I found myself standing in line with my dad to go on one of the fastest inverted roller coasters in existence at the time. The sun had gone down and darkness settled across the amusement park’s landscape. This would be the first inverted roller coaster I had ever ridden. I was a bit tense to say the least! During what seemed like an eternal wait, we slowly walked up ramps and stairs to get to the platform where riders were boarding. Upon launch, the cars would climb up to the highest point, drop suddenly into a steep freefall and then take a vertical loop. This I watched over and over, accompanied by the sounds of screaming passengers. The coaster itself had an eerie “roar” as the wheel mechanism surged along its track. With each step up toward the platform, I felt a sense of impending doom. Soon, my dad and I were the ones getting into our seats. Over-the-shoulder harnesses pulled down and locked us in. My feet dangled in thin air as the car was released forward into the night. Up we climbed to the top. Once at the peak, we were drifting and picking up speed, when all of the sudden…drop. It was then that I learned to cling. Breath held. Teeth grit. Knuckles clenched. We took the first loop and found ourselves hurtling along straight-aways and unexpected curves. At this point, my fear transformed into whoops and hollers (I was still alive!). Before long, the ride was over. Even though I was timid at first, I was glad I had taken it on.
We also must cling to God’s Word as if we’re holding on for dear life…because we are! There will drops, loops, and unexpected turns in our lives. When those happen, it’s important that we’ve already locked into what God has spoken. It will serve as our harness.
3. Be patient for the harvest.
When a farmer plants a seed, the crop doesn’t get harvested right away. Why then do we expect this for our own lives? I think an instant gratification culture has shaped our minds: If we don’t see immediate results, we become impatient. We may even assume something is wrong because we aren’t seeing the outcome we’d expect. This is a mindset I have to constantly work against. But there’s nothing wrong. In actuality, there could be something happening that is…right. It’s in the slowness of time that God is working beneath the surface on you and I. It takes patience to hear God’s word, hold on to it, and live it out. Jesus assures us that a harvest will be produced. He says we will bear fruit .
4. Bear lots of fruit!
Why should we even care about becoming the good soil? I think the answer is in the fruit. This is, after all, the point of a farmer planting seeds. The point isn’t about how silky soft our soil looks. It isn’t about how radiantly our grain glows when it catches the sun just right. It’s about feeding people. The fruit of our lives should nourish others. Our words and actions will become a reflection of the very word that was planted in us. Others will taste and see. New seeds will be planted in their lives, and the cycle will continue.
If we’re trying to live out the story of The Four Soils, then we know our goal is to “hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Just like a farmer, we need to actively tend to the soil of our hearts. We need to allow God’s Word to thrive in us. Only then will we begin to live a changed life that changes lives!
 John 10:4-5
 Luke 8:15 NLT