“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:4-9)
Although this is often known as the parable of the sower and the seed, it is actually the parable of the plow. Strange as it may seem, all four soils are actually from the same soil.
Picture a plot of ground amongst other plots. Every farmer’s plot was adjacent to their neighbor’s. To get to their fields, they would walk along the boundaries bordering each field. Over time, simply by reason of constant use, the soil would get compacted and become known as a “path.” It was never plowed nor ever fertilized. The first soil condition was the path or land held “in common” by all the farmers. The seed was not able to penetrate the ground because of the constant use.
Ever allow something that held great potential to become common? Remember how our spouses were so precious in the beginning? But what was once precious is now common. What about a ministry, a family, a friend? When the precious becomes common, it is often soon replaced.
The second was the “rocky places,” or the shallow soil where the plow didn’t cut deeply enough to break up the shale or hard ground just below the surface. This soil produced only temporary results, and the plant soon died. Then the area of “thorns” were most likely in the corners of the field where the plow couldn’t reach, so weeds quickly overtook what was planted.
Remember, all the soils were actually from the same plot of ground with one major difference — only one area was fully yielded to the plow.
That area was called good soil.
The greatest amount of fruit produced was not determined by how gifted the soil was but by how it yielded to the plow. All conditions received seed, but not all produced quality fruit. Everyone receives seed. Everyone has potential for the harvest, but the ones who will actualize it to its fullest will not be the most gifted. The ones who will produce the most fruit will be the ones most yielded to the plow.
How yielded to the plow am I? How correctable am I? How quickly do I repent? Can I self-correct? Father, the degree to which I yield to Your plow will define the capacity of my fruitfulness in life.