I am still unpacking all the goodness that happened two weeks ago at the Moms in the Making conference. There is something incredibly powerful about gathering with a community of women who are walking the same journey. It’s even more powerful when that group of women choose to pray big, bold prayers and stand in faith together. There were so many sweet life changing moments.
During the second main stage session, my friend Caroline Harries (the founder of Moms in the Making and the author of In Due Time) spoke. She shared about The Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15. In this passage, Jesus talks about a sower who scattered seeds and the four types of soil the seeds fell on.
The first seed fell on the pathway. This seed never had a chance to grow because it was trampled and the birds came to steal it.
The second seed fell on rocky ground with little soil. The seed was able to grow, but not deeply because the soil was mostly rocks. Any growth quickly withered because it was not able to get the moisture it needed to stay rooted.
The third seed fell on soil that contained thorns and weeds. Again, the seed was able to grow, but the thorns and weeds also grew and eventually killed the precious plant that had grown.
Finally, the fourth seed fell on good deep soil and was able to grow strong.
Caroline shared the importance of our hearts being good soil. Just like we tend a garden in the natural, we have to tend the garden of our heart. We have to remove the rocks of disbelief and the lies that disguise themselves as weeds so the word of God can take root. When storms come, when people say hurtful things and when we walk through hard seasons we will not be overcome if our roots are deep in good soil. Not only that, but good strong roots produce crops! We can’t produce fruit without strong roots.
For the past several months, I have been switching back and forth between the old and new testament when I read the bible. So, when I read Matthew, the story stopped me in chapter 13:1-23. I had one burning question – that I turned over and over in my head – but I never really had any answers. When I read Mark 4:1-20, that same question came up – and again, I turned it over and over in my head – and again, I really didn’t have any answers. As Caroline spoke with fire and passion – that same question came back to my mind.
Friends, my one question isn’t what you may think. I wasn’t wondering how to ensure my heart was full of good soil. I wasn’t thinking about growing strong roots. I wasn’t even thinking about producing fruit. As a matter of a fact, I wasn’t concerned about the garden of my heart at all. I just couldn’t stop thinking of the one who was throwing those seeds. Why in the world did the sower keep throwing seeds in bad places? Couldn’t he tell the soil was bad? Wouldn’t it make more sense to sow only in good soil?
I know that sounds crazy, as I am certain the point of the parable IS NOT the sower, however hang with me here because the Father showed me something beautiful.
After months of wondering about that crazy sower, it hit me when Caroline was speaking. The sower was being obedient.
Have you ever dreamed of something but been too afraid to pursue it because you were fearful of what others would think? Maybe God has called you to do something, but you don’t know how all the pieces would fall into place. Maybe you feel like you were made to do something, but you just aren’t sure how it would work.
In her book, Enough, Sharon Jaynes says this, “I am not responsible for the outcome of my obedience. God is.” I love the freedom that comes with this statement. When we walk in obedience we don’t have to worry about anything else.
Maybe you are reading this, and you can’t think of anything you feel called to do. Maybe you aren’t sure what your place is. I believe Isaiah 61:1 is a great place to start when you don’t know what you are called to do. It says:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…“
Instead of asking the Lord “what have you called me to do?” Start asking “How can I proclaim the good news to the poor?” or “How can I bind up the brokenhearted?” or “How I can proclaim freedom?” or my personal favorite “How can I help release prisoners from the darkness?” If you ask God those questions, He will show you what you are called to do.
Today I want to encourage you if there is something you feel like God is asking you to do, but you are waiting to do it because you are afraid of the outcome… do it! Romans 2:6-7 says this in the Passion translation:
“He will give to each one in return for what he has done. For those living in constant goodness and doing what pleases him, seeking an unfading glory and honor and imperishable virtue, will experience eternal life.”
Remember the sower? At the end of the day, I imagine he would have been paid for doing his job – regardless if the seeds grew or not. I know there is a reward for our obedience when we do what God calls us to do – and I promise it is much better than a paycheck! The best part, some of the sowers seeds DID grow. When we are obedient it not only impacts our own lives, but it always impacts the eternity of those around us!
As I was writing this blog, I was facing my own battle with obedience. There was something I felt like the Lord was telling me to post on social media, but I didn’t want to. I was fearful of the outcome. Fearful of what people would think of me. Fearful of the battle that may come after I posted. I was willing to share, but I just wanted to share with a few close friends and then move on. However, I realized that I can’t write about the importance of obedience if I wasn’t walking in it myself. So, after much deliberation, I posted. If I am being honest, after I posted I held my breath. I was so sure it wasn’t going to go well.
Guess what happened, not even an hour after posting, a sweet friend messaged me and shared how my words impacted her. She shared about a situation in her life that had happened very recently. She shared how the situation was breaking her heart and how lost she felt. I knew nothing about her situation before I posted, but God did. After my friend shared, I got the opportunity to speak life and sow seeds. I had the opportunity to impact eternity within an hour of walking in obedience!
Friends, I don’t share this testimony to tell you how amazing I am. I tell you to share how good God is! When He calls us to obedience it is part of a bigger plan. We can only see one small piece of the much larger picture He is painting. This testimony is a reminder that fear is a liar. God goes before us and is making a way – we simply need to say “yes” and then watch as He does the rest.