Do you want to see change in your life? Do you want to have more influence, experience breakthrough, or walk in a greater measure of healing, finances, or anointing? You probably said yes to one or more of those questions. If so, you aren’t alone; I did too. So how do we get there? How do we experience change? How do we experience increase? How do we expand our borders?
When most people want to see change in their life, they try to change their circumstances. This is opposite of the way the kingdom of God operates. While God wants to change our circumstances, He doesn’t start by focusing on our externals; He always starts in our hearts. Look at this scripture:
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
In Hebrew, the word issues means boundaries, borders, or goings out. Literally Solomon was saying to keep your heart with great effort, because your heart sets the boundaries and borders of your life. While most of us are trying to bring change “out there,” God is wanting to bring change in our hearts. He wants our lives to be changed from the inside-out. As we remove boundaries and borders inside of us, the boundaries and borders in our lives are removed!
Jesus said the same thing in the parable of the sower in Mark 4. He said the word of God was like seed and our heart was like the earth. Much like a seed, the word of God reproduces after its on kind. This means if you have an increased finances word from God, the nature of the seed is to reproduce increased finances. The seed (word of God) is never the variable in our receiving from God. The only variable is the ground (our heart).
In the parable of the sower, four types of ground were discussed. These four types of ground represent different conditions of the human heart. If we learn to put our focus on having the ground of our heart be good soil, God’s promises will take root and germinate and grow unhindered in our lives. We don’t have to bring the change to our circumstances at all; that’s God’s part. Our part is to tend the garden of our heart. So how do we do that? Let’s look at the four conditions of the heart:
1. Lack of understanding (Mark 4:15) – We need to understand the promises and the kingdom of God. This seems obvious, but it’s the foundation and it’s a little deeper than you may think. It’s not enough just to read or hear the promises at a surface level. We need to comprehend the word and the kingdom, the Old and New Covenants, and much more. We can make our heart more sensitive to understanding God’s word by hungering and valuing the word above all else. For more on spiritual hunger, read this article.
2. Stony ground – (Mark 4:16-17) – For any seed to take root it must get deep in the soil. If it doesn’t, the heat of the sun will scorch the seed, and nothing will grow. Any time we begin to believe a promise of God, we need to understand Satan is going to bring an attack to get us to not believe. This is because he doesn’t want the seed to take root in our heart. An attack doesn’t mean God isn’t working; it’s a sign He is working.
It’s also important to realize whenever you plant a seed, it looks like nothing is happening at first; no tree trunk, no branches, no fruit, no nothing. This is because the seed is taking root and roots are developing several feet below the surface of the soil. Tree roots usually grow one inch below the soil for every foot they will grow above the soil. This means a 60 foot tree needs to have 5 feet of root growth below the surface to be healthy. Just like an apple seed takes time to blossom into a mature apple tree, it takes time for the word of God to take root in our lives and produce the promise. We need to spend time meditating on His word and allow the Holy Spirit to remove rocky places from our lives that hinder the seed from settling deep in our hearts. We also MUST understand the unconditional love of God for us. Ephesians 3:17 says we are to be rooted and grounded in God’s unconditional love. Understanding God’s unconditional one-way love is the key to remove the rocky places in our hearts.
3. Thorny ground (Mark 4:18-19) – In this soil, the seed germinated and was beginning to produce, however, the thorns choked out the seed and it didn’t bring forth fruit. In farming, weeds and thorns draw off nutrients in the soil intended for the seed. This means the seed doesn’t get all the necessary nutrition. This happens in our lives when we have so many things going on that we can’t focus on Jesus and his promises. This busyness usually isn’t sin. It can be work, our hobbies, family, and the normal cares of life which subtly draw our heart away from meditating on Jesus. This doesn’t mean we aren’t saved. It just means our heart got cluttered and we can’t focus. We must remember to get rid of unnecessary priorities, so our heart stays uncluttered and the seed of the word of God has the right amount of nutrients to grow healthy. This is why Proverbs said to guard our heart with all diligence.
4. The good ground (Mark 4:20) – This is the ground that produced the harvest. And the good news is this is the ground (condition of the heart) that didn’t have the most; it had the least. This is good news because we often think we need to do or be more for God to do great things in our life. That’s not true. God doesn’t need our help; he just needs our attention. He needs us to focus on Him so he can give us understanding and remove stony ground and thorns from our life so his word can grow unhindered.
Mark 4:28 says the earth brings forth increase of itself. This means as our hearts get more sensitive to the things of God it begins to generate fruit (increased influence, healings, prosperity, anointing, and so on) automatically. As we begin to apply the principles discussed in this article, we will expand the borders of our hearts and thereby expand our capacity for the kingdom of God to increase in every area of our lives.