Receptivity: Say What?
How rebellious & religious mindsets create unreceptive environments
“vs 5 A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up…vs 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts,lest they should believe and be saved.”
Fallow ground within your thinking keeps you from hearing the Lord’s voice.
What mindsets have you let set in because you’ve rehearsed them on a daily basis?
vs 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts,lest they should believe and be saved.”
Compare vs 12 with
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them” (Romans 10:14)?
Preach -> Hear -> Believe
Unfortunately for the person on the wayside represented by the path, they can’t hear because they are completely unreceptive
This can apply to two people…
1) The Hard Hearted Sinner (the rebellious)
2) The Hard Headed Saint (the religious)
Hard Headed Religious Mindsets don't happen over night. They are set in by the constant daily rehearsal of incorrect or even slightly off thinking.
Example... Religious debate have deeply divided the body of Christ because of religious mindsets…
Cessationist vs Continuous
Calvinist vs Arminian
Complementarian vs Egalitarian
Alcohol vs Abstinence
How do we work and dwell together with such significant divides?
John Wesley, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."
Two feet that wear a path in our mind are those of Offense & Tradition
Remember: the hardened path is the result of walking the same road over and over again. The wrong thoughts you’ve repeated within your heart and mind create a mindset that leaves you unreceptive.
Solomon wrote that “an offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Proverbs 18:19). Jesus cautioned His disciples and said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” (Luke 17:1).
Offense is dangerous. This is why we must be quick to forgive, otherwise the offense sets in, the heart hardens, and we become unreceptive to God’s word. Jesus taught that “whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). When you hold onto your hurts, your hurts take hold of you. They become barriers that keep you from receiving from the Lord.
(See Link Below for Pebble In My Shoe and Picket Fences)
The second foot is that of tradition. Tradition is the religious rules, rites, and rituals that are passed down from one generation to the next.
Jesus said you make “the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down” (Mark 7:13).
Tradition is a thief that takes the life and leaves the victim unreceptive. Jesus said that “the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that you might life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
Matthew Henry, wrote, “To unlearn that which is bad proves many times a harder task than to learn that which is good.”
Is it possible you’ve fallen victim to religious mindsets?
Do you ever find yourself absolutely convinced you’re right even when others disagree?
Are you highly opinionated and love to debate?
In a group are you doing more talking than listening?
Do you receive correction and criticism well or do you become defensive?
Are you quick to judge others, but easily excuse yourself?
Do you have someone in authority that holds you accountable?
When is the last time you found yourself repenting in prayer?
Are you bitter, angry, or resentful toward someone?
Are you jealous or prideful?
Are you harboring unforgiveness?
These questions are not meant to cause you to retreat, but to realize areas of your own life you’ve allowed to become fallow. A hardened heart can’t hear!
Charles Finney said, “It will do no good to preach to you while your hearts are in this hardened, and waste, and fallow state. The farmer might just as well sow his grain on the rock. It will bring forth no fruit. This is the reason why there are so many fruitless ministers in the Church, and why there is so much organization and so little deep-toned feeling.”
Key To Becoming Receptive First begins with
Breaking Up The Fallow Groud
Holy Spirit, search me and reveal my heart. Show me the hardened places I’ve allowed to grow fallow. I want to see truth. I understand that I am unaware of all the places I have allowed religious opinions of man and false assumptions to cloud my view. Show me the secret sins that keep me from hearing truth.