I have food for thought for anybody interested in the Mark Chapter four or the seed parables. Allow me to put this in the form of a question: Might the thing that we are growing in this mystical garden be faith? Found below is an excerpt from Luke’ account, it’s chapter eight. Notice that I’ve emboldened and italicized-if it came across that way-the words “believe” in verse 12, and “a while believe” in verse 13.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
Notice that in verse 12 the devil took the word out of a person’s heart “lest they believe and be saved”. Why the lest? Maybe because the “believing” (belief, faith) is the actual thing that were cultivating, and that will eventually produces results. They received the word of God on a matter, “faith cometh by hearing…” and a belief began to grow. Had they maintained it, it would have produced fruit. It would have manifested. But if there’s any truth to this idea of faith (belief) being likened unto a plant, then we know that the plant will have to grow until harvest time (a while).
Notice verse 13. There were people who’s hearts were likened unto rock (hard hearted) that received the word just fine, and also notice that they “believed” for “a while”. What determined when the “a while” was over? How about when they let go of the word of God? They probably did this: they prayed “father I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I accept him into my heart by faith-I believe that I’m now saved ”! But when Satan launched a campaign to convince his senses that nothing happened, he opened his mouth and said, “dang, I’ll never be saved, just when I try may hardest to get serious with god, for some reason I end up doing all these things that I haven’t done in years. I am so pathetic. Is there any help for me? Man, I don’t deserve any grace-the way I’ve been acting. What on earth happened? Oh, just skip this stuff. It’s too hard”.
What happened? He said something contrary to the prayer he prayed when he accepted (received) Gods word. Satan convinced him to call it off. Now, what if he would have responded this way: “Man I can’t believe the stuff I’ve been doing. I don’t know why all this crud is just attracted to me. But it doesn’t daunt my faith in the least. I stand firm on what I said and I don’t care what I do or how bad it gets, I BELIEVE THAT I’M SAVED! CASE CLOSED. Come hell or high water Jesus lives in my heart by faith and I AM A BELIEVER. And If I die from being pathetic, I’ll die believing that Christ lives in my heart by faith”. This man is good ground, because he’ll see this thing through unto the end-harvest time.
The thing I want you to notice is this: There is a time in which a believer is indeed “believing” and yet the cycle hasn’t been completed-no manifestation. Remember we don’t plant a seed one day and reap the next. Patience is involved. But as long as he held fast to the word that was “believed” by verbally receiving it (“if you had faith as a grain of Mustard seed you might say… whosoever shall say unto this mountain…. I believed therefore have I spoken-the spirit of faith” (2nd Cor. chapter 4:13) “, the person was meeting the requirements set forth by God. HE WAS DOING IT. And yet it was not manifested.
I once did some studying of the Mustard plant. I even bought some seeds to see how long they took to grow. Most packages say that in forty days it’s mature, one said about fifty days. I don’t know if that was indeed the plant that Jesus talked about, but I find it interesting, the growing time of the Mustard plant.
Did you know that in Gematria-the biblical study of numbers, that forty means a time of trial, chastisement or probation (Jesus was tempted forty days of the devil)? And fifty means rest or completion due to the perfect consummation of time and it denotes deliverance after that period of time? As in the day of Jubilee, or Pentecost. I’m still undecided about the numbers thing, but isn’t it interesting that the growing time of Mustard coincides with biblical numbers that have relevance?
Could there be a God appointed growing time to faith? It makes sense to me that there would be. What farmer doesn’t know the growing time of the crop that he plants? However, that being said it’s still just speculation.
I believe that the parables of the Kingdom pertain to faith or to “believing”. This being said I think it’s a good idea to learn to use that expression often in prayer. “I BELIEVE” such and such. It conveys to the inner man that your not basing these things upon anything that can be seen, but your choosing to use this God given mechanism given to every man-to cultivate an inner picture in your heart. That picture being faith, which is based purely on what God says is true, but what the senses say isn’t-at that time. But held fast to, we can manifest it to the world around us.