Preparing the Soil
In Middle Eastern farming, there is a pathway between two fields. It is the boundary. It is the place where hard-packed earth is found. It is the strip in the field where the soil is not prepared for receiving the seed.
The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 tells us that Jesus is the sower and your heart is the soil. Satan seeks to work on the soil on which the seed of the Word is planted. If he can, he will harden the soil of your life. Many times he does this by getting you to substitute human wisdom for God's Word. Then he succeeds in snatching away the good seed of the Gospel.
Have you ever known a person to be excited about sharing his faith with others, only to have someone make fun of him? Soon he is no longer sharing his faith at all.
If Satan cannot keep the Word of God from taking hold in your life, then he will use any means to pull you away from growing your relationship with God. Unconfessed sin, unforgiveness, and bitterness will harden your heart.
When Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India, his conquering forces entered a celebrated Hindu temple to destroy its idols. The temple priests entreated Mahmud to spare a certain idol, but he refused. Instead, he struck such a blow to the image that it burst open and precious stones cascaded from the hollow interior.
In many ways, this is true in your life. When you cling tightly to bitterness, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness, elevating them above your relationship with God, they become "idols" in your life. For each idol you are willing to destroy, you will gain more than you lose. Each time you surrender something to God, you will remove another hindrance to a productive life of faith and prayer. Every idol that is demolished will bring you new treasures of grace and peace.
Prayer: Lord, my desire is to destroy every idol in my life. Please show me anything I am not surrendering to You and grant me the ability to surrender it to You today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them" (Mark 4:15).