Sunday, January 24, 2016

Satan Can Plant and Remove Seeds

Jesus told a parable, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. . . The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’” (Matthew 13:24-28)

In this parable, the enemy came at night and sowed weeds in their field while the slaves were sleeping. They didn’t realize what the enemy had done because it wasn’t obvious at first. But after the wheat and tares sprang up together, the slaves couldn’t understand how tares got in the field when the landowner had only sown good seed. The landowner explained to the slaves that his enemy had done it. Even though he hadn’t seen the enemy do it, he figured out the tares came from bad seed that was sown by someone who hated him. Here are 2 tactics that Satan uses:

1. Satan can remove good seed planted in people’s hearts. In the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3-23), Jesus said the evil one has the ability to snatch away good seed sown in a person’s heart (v.19). The good seed is God’s Word (Mark 4:14) which will produce good fruit (13:8), so the devil’s first tactic is to attack the Bible. When someone hears God’s Word, he or she must decide to receive and act upon it. If someone doesn’t do this, the evil one can actually take it away, presumably through making the person forget about it before it can take root.

2. Satan can plant immoral seeds in people’s hearts. His second tactic is to plant immoral seeds in people’s hearts while they are “sleeping.” This means they aren’t aware of what’s happening to them in the spiritual realm. The enemy isn’t noticeable when he tempts people. He plants his tares in people’s hearts and it is not until later that the harmful consequences become obvious.

He’s busy sowing seeds of hate and discord, seeds of unfaithfulness in marriages, and discontentment in people’s hearts. The world is in such a mess today because the immoral seeds sown by the devil have taken over the field. Yet some people have never figured out their troubles began as tiny seeds sown by a spiritual enemy while they were sleeping.

How can you prevent tares from being sown in your heart? By staying spiritually aware and refusing to let him trespass on your property. “Let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:6). Let the good seed produce its good fruit, and keep the corrupt seed from entering your heart. If it’s already in there, you can pull the weeds out (repentance) and let the Holy Spirit germinate God’s Word in your heart. It will change your life. Twitter:  @Kent Crockett

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