At any time, the receptiveness of your heart will determine your response to God’s word (Luke 8:5-18). If your heart is like the trampled ground, hardened by the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness, you will be unable to accept a message from God. Though you hear the words of the message, you will remain unchanged. If your heart is like the shallow soil on top of a rock, you will accept God’s word in your mind, but the truth will not penetrate your heart to make a difference in your actions. A heart like thorny soil is a life that is distracted by the cares of the world; the pursuit of earthly pleasures prevents God’s word from taking hold and producing righteousness. The heart that is like good soil receives a word from God, applies it, and brings forth fruit in due time. This is the heart that Jesus desires in us, for the fruit will be a Christlike life.
Any time you hear a word from God, whether through Bible reading, prayer, or worship, the way you respond will depend on how you have cultivated your heart (Hos. 10:12). How do you develop a heart that is like good soil? Repent of any bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness that is hardening your heart. Meditate on God’s word until it enters deep into your heart and not just your mind. When you read or hear a word from God, apply it to your life and let God bring His word into reality in your life (Gal. 6:9). Protect your lifestyle. See that you don’t devote all of your energy to worldly concerns, rather than to pursuing your relationship with God. The condition of your heart will vary, depending on how you cultivate it. If it was receptive to a word from God yesterday, this does not guarantee it is receptive today. Daily prepare your heart for the word God has for you!