Darryl Doland - Federal Way, Washington Sunday Gospel Meeting - April 1, 2001

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

What this tells us is that the word of God is alive, powerful and sharp, and the word of God discerns things for us in our hearts. As I prayed for this meeting, I wasn’t feeling that the Word of God was very powerful and alive and sharp, and it was shocking to me! Maybe some others have had this experience. All of a sudden, the inspiration you should have, you don’t have! It’s not a good feeling to have! I felt, “I’m not the only one that has had these experiences, so let’s talk about it!”

Do you want it this way? No. Does God want it this way? No. Is it God’s problem? No. So what are you going to do about it?

Luke 8:5, “'A sower went out to sow his seed and as He sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.' And when He had said these things, He cried, 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.'”

Luke 8:11, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

So, do you know one thing I found right off? When I went to this Scripture, I realized I’d read it dozens of times. I’ve heard it a lot! If your heart is like the wayside soil, and becomes hardened, the Word of God lands on it, and Satan comes and takes it away. It sounds so simple and insignificant but just that little hardness right there – the Word of God won’t go in, and Satan is right there to take it away. There are some places in the Scriptures I really don’t want to go. I think, “Some people would be hurt by that or misunderstand.” So I harden myself to that. Some places in the Scriptures I feel convicted about, and I don’t want to go there. So, I harden myself to that. Then I wonder why the Scripture doesn’t inspire me!
A hard heart is always an advantage to Satan! We harden our heart because we are afraid and don’t know what it’s going to mean to us. Satan is right there to take it away. I’ve hardened my heart, so that when people talk about forgiveness in meeting, I’ve felt offended thinking, “If you really knew what happened to me you wouldn’t be saying that!" We don’t deal with what is hardening us – so Satan takes away the Word of God.

The next soil is the rocky soil. The Word of God comes, and people are excited but it doesn’t go very deep. The sun comes out and scorches it. The seed is not alive. The seed is kept on the surface. Consistency is hard for me. I get desperate before a meeting, and search the Word of God and search my heart. But what about Monday and Tuesday? Am I a shallow feeder – keeping it that way? Then I wonder why I’m not inspired! I’ve been feeding really, really shallowly this week! That’s why! God wants us feeding every day of our life. That’s how the Word of God becomes alive and meaningful! It needs to be nurtured all that time.

The next soil is the thorny soil – all kinds of other things sprung up. The Word of God couldn’t express itself  there were too many other things expressing themselves! We have all these things keeping us busy, and other peoples’ expectations. All the time we’re being crowded. If what God is trying to give us is getting crowded out, it’s no wonder we aren’t inspired! We have choices to make. The thorns do their work. The thorns can be the most deceitful thing. We still have the Word of God – it hasn’t died. But it just doesn’t produce what God said it would! You can totally tell by what’s going on in the soil, with what happens to the seed. But God will continue to sow.

The last soil is the good soil. If there’s one way I want to deal with the hardness, stones and weeds in my heart – instead of focusing on all this stuff – focus on what I do want, and start making room for what is good! Then the other stuff will take care of itself. It’s very clear God loves us. Make room for it, meditate on it, thank God for it. Then the stones in our heart are not so important anymore – gone. We understand Jesus already died and took the punishment for our sins, so we can be called sons of God. God will take our soul, and put it in a body that will never decay. When we think about it, the rocks and weeds are not so important anymore because this is too real! I don’t know how to explain life but, you know, I totally believe in it because I see it, and see the results of it. I believe in what God has done because I see people get spiritual life. I see it, and it’s exciting! When I open my heart to it, it softens me, and I begin to want it all.

I was aware there was a part of God’s Word I avoided. It was a time when Jesus healed a man of his blindness. Jesus said, “What do you see?” He answered, “I see men like trees walking.” The miracle wasn’t complete. So Jesus healed him again, and he saw perfectly. Why did Jesus do a miracle that wasn’t complete? I didn’t understand. Later, I understood that Scripture was what I needed. The very time I hardened my heart to it was when I needed it the most! When God first gave me vision, it wasn’t complete.

 

I realize now that God gives us a little bit at a time, and then says, “Darryl, what do you see?” Then He does more and asks me what I see. “Now I believe and understand it.”

I realize that all the hardness in my life is giving Satan an advantage. Let’s make room for what it is telling us here. Then all He’s planned for us is going to be accomplished.