Life in the Shallows

Matthew 13: 5 – 6            NIV

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.

Last week I wrote to you about venturing out into the deep water. This was a metaphor I used to encourage you into a deeper life with Christ. I said that the reason why it is important to encourage believers into the deep water is because so many are suffering and failing. This passage shows this truth dynamically.

Today’s verse selection is from Jesus’ parable of the sower. Jesus said this is the foundational parable. It shows us the impact of the seed on various types of soil. The seed is the Word of God; the soil is our hearts. We have the opportunity to prepare our soil ourselves. The condition of our soil determines how successful the seed will be. If we have no value for the Word of God, we are like seed which was sown along the path. It does not take root (v. 4). If we are shallow, if we don’t launch out into the deep things with God or place a high value on the things of God, then we experience lack and loss. Today’s verse reveals that we wither and die.

I wish this was all metaphorical but I see these truths manifested in real life every day. Do you see that shallow Christians are living in more peril than those who are going deeper? In the parable above, because the soil was shallow, the plant had no root. When plants or trees have shallow roots, then they are more easily toppled in the storms. This is what Jesus was trying to teach us about life. if we live a shallow faith, we won’t have strong roots either. When the storms of life hit, we are easily felled. 

Jesus said, “Whoever has ears, let them hear” (v. 9). There is a reason why I and other ministers are beckoning believers to come in deeper. There is safety, security, success and peace in the deeper water and much more besides. Shallow Christians are in a better place than non-believers but the more immersed we are in the Word and in God, the better our lives will be. We want your life to be anointed and blessed; we want to see you protected from the storms. It is not for ourselves that we call to you. It is for your sake. 

As a final thought consider this – when a hurricane or other strong storm threatens, large ships head out to sea, out to the deep water, rather than remaining in the harbor. They are safer in deep water than they are at shore. Mmm . . . there may be something there. He who has ears, hear.