(Notes from “A Sure Foundation”, by Andrew Wommack)
This parable is so foundational, that if you don’t understand this one, you wont understand any of the teachings of Jesus!
“And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” – Mark 4:13 NKJV
“And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’ ” – Mark 4:4-12 NKJV
In essence Jesus is saying that He has given the believers a special understanding so that we can understand these things, but people who are not born again, cannot understand this. It preserves these things for Gods children.
Jesus does NOT share in parables to hide them from Gods children, but to hide them FOR Gods children.
This parable is the key that unlocks the rest.
Mark 4: 14
The sower sows THE WORD
The farmer had a bag, and he took a handful of seeds that he scattered around.
God has given access to the Word to everyone, all the different types of ground. But only one bore fruit. The condition of our hearts.
When Andrew Wommack was eighteen years old, God called him to reach millions! How could this be done? He wondered how could God use him. God showed him that it is the seed that produces, not the ground.
The seed is where the power lies!
Andrew Wommack was looking at himself, and thinking that he wasn’t well-educated etc. But it is the SEED that brings forth fruit!
It is the ground that has less – less stones, less plants – that produces the best! It is not you and me! It is His Word!
His Word is going to change people, and not you and me!
That seed has to be sown into a heart before it can produce.
Andrew Wommack once saw a TV program about a group of people who found 4000 year old seeds in an Egyptian grave. They planted the seed, and it sprouted! It only released its power when it was planted in the ground!
Having a Bible on the coffee table, is not going to stop the devil. Take the Word and let it become a part of you.
The Word in you will open up doors, and will change peoples lives.
People think it’s about polishing yourself; education, clothing etc.
But very few people understand that it is the Word that will release the potential in your life. This is true for every one.
The Word makes you a better house wife, a mother, a parent etc.
4 types of people who receive the Word in this parable:
1. BY THE WAYSIDE – Not Understanding the Word
And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. Mark 4:15
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. – Matt 13: 18 – 19
He heard the Word, but didn’t understand the Word.
It is vital to understand it. It is the first step in getting the Word in your heart. Read, pray and meditate until you understand it.
This is why we have children’s church. The Word needs to be presented in a way they understand it. I believe that it is good to make the Word of God simple to understand. Jesus made it simple for people to understand.
If you can’t understand, the devil has access to steal the Word from you.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:7 NKJV
‘Understand’ means ‘the ability to put together. Fit together.’
Understanding how to apply it to your daily life, how it is linked to other Scripture verses etc. Pray for understanding.
You can make your heart receptive or make it hard. A hardened heart is a heart that does not understand. (Mark 8) Understanding softens your heart.
2. STONY GROUND – Excited, but not rooted
“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” – Mark 4:16-17 NKJV
Satan is not fighting you because of you. He comes against the Word of God. When you are getting a revelation, the battle has just begun. He will fight you, but you will win!
Afflictions come to steal away the Word. Persecutions come from the devil to stop Gods Word from your life. Sickness, for example, makes you self occupied, doesn’t it?
Persecution is designed to make you stop ministering the Word. If you quit sharing it and ministering the Word, even though you personally hold on to the Word, then satan won the battle! The purpose of persecution is to stop the Word! Stay on track! Persecution is trying to get you off track. Remember that what people say about you is not important. The Word of God is important.
It is not you who are being persecuted, it is the Word!
This kind of person, is excited, but didn’t take time for the seed to get rooted. Excited until it costs them something.
Andrew Wommack taught others’ revelations, and the Lord revealed to him “It is not your roots, you are just teaching what others are teaching.” He decided that he wanted his own personal revelations. He would take others’ teachings, meditate on it, so that it became his.
Let’s have this mindset that “We are not going to let anybody steal the Word from us!”
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
If you meditate day and night, THEN… It will strengthen every area of your life.
Getting a root system.
The power of God is inside you. When the root can tap into the water, it makes the tree healthy and strong.
It can look like the seed in shallow earth grows faster and better. But it takes longer for the seed in a lot of soil. The seed in shallow earth will whither and die, while the seed in deep soil will grow and produce.
You cannot have growth above ground that is greater than the growth beneath the surface.
If you want fruit, let the Word of God take root in your heart.
Mark 4: 30 – the mustard seed
“Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” – Mark 4:30-32
Andew Wommack knew God had a call on his life, but didn’t know how this was going to happen?
Once the mustard seed is SOWN, it grows up!
You cannot grow more outwardly than you have grown inwardly.
People desire to be a leader, help people, preach etc, but how is this going to happen? By letting the Word take root in your heart. This is not in the public.
Go straight for the ROOT, not straight for the FRUIT!
3. AMONG THORNS – Preoccupation with other things
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19
Before you plant a seed, you remove all the weeds etc. Then you plant your seed. You water it, and then you expect results. Weeds will start growing up along with your seed. You have to weed out the weeds and leave your seed undisturbed. It seems it’s easier to grow weeds than crop. It steals the nutrition from your plant.
The same is true spiritually. The seed is growing in your heart. But your heart wants so many other things! Like addiction to sports etc. To a degree that it takes you away from the Word of God. This can be your job, parenting, etc. Chokes the Word. Can keep you from producing in your life.
Attacks from the devil: preoccupation with other things.
If you want to destroy a man’s vision, give him two.
You cannot do multiple things correctly.
If you want the Word of God to produce in your life, then be occupied with the Word of God!
If the soil has been depleted, the seed will not produce.
Andrew Wommack shares that he was so occupied with ministering to other people, that he wasn’t sowing the Word in his own heart. He didn’t have time in the Word of God for weeks! During a conference, it’s very busy from 6am till late at night. Didn’t have time in the Word. After the conference, he just spent time in the Word for himself – not to minister to other people.
Psalms 19 – Quality time and Quantity time in the Word.
You can meditate in the Word DAY and NIGHT. Josh 1: 8f.
When the word is in you, you can meditate on the Word during the day. Listening to Christian music, listening to teachings etc. We have advantages like Christian TV, radio, books.
This is only necessary if you want fruit in your life. You can still love God and get to heaven without living in the Word.
Deceived by the thought that if you only had enough money, then I would be happier and could be a bigger blessing? The truth is that it is the Word ONLY that will produce joy, health etc.
4. GOOD GROUND – Committed. Heard the Word and kept it.
But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:20
The fourth kind of ground has LESS than the other kind of grounds. Less stones, less weeds etc.
We think that we don’t have enough education, money, charisma etc.
But less is more!
The type of heart that produces the best results is the heart that has less.
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15
“Bring forth fruit with patience.”
The change in the Christian life takes time. Like a seed in the ground. It takes time for it to grow and produce. Eventually it produces. The Word of God in us also produces eventually. Give the Word time to work.
“They heard the Word and kept it.“
The seed didn’t determine who would have 30, 60 or 100 fold.
The seed has the potential to produce 100 fold in any one.
The difference is the degree of commitment; what you do with it.
We see this progression:
a. The word doesn’t penetrate our heart
b. The Word excites us, but not ready for the costs
c. The Word is all important