A Connected Heart

Praise the Lord! This is the month that leads us into summer and for us in central California it gets HOT! In fact, I remember once hearing on the news that Death Valley, which is about 3 hours from where I live is the hottest place on earth. The temperatures consistently reach 134 ° Fahrenheit. But as a child of God we should expect extreme temperatures in the power of the Spirit all the time.

God has created us to reflect His glory in the earth! We discover in the Bible that there is absolutely no darkness in God. Did you know that there is darkness in the sun? As brilliant of a light and as bright as the sun shines there are still dark spots in it. But not with God! This purity of light should mean something to us since we are to reflect this light in the earth.

As Christians, our ability to succeed is in our hearing God and following God. If we hear what God is saying and follow what God is saying, we shall be triumphant in every single aspect of our lives!

I remember being in a particular person home one time and having them tell how God had spoke to them and told them not to work. They proclaimed that God told them not to work because He was their source and God would supply all their needs (Phil. 4:19). Immediately I knew this was not God because the Word of God clearly states that we are to work (1 Tim. 5:8). Knowing the character traits of this person it was obvious they were just looking for an excuse to be lazy. Several months latter it was very clear that what they heard was the laziness of their flesh and not God. Their home was now in foreclosure, they were on welfare to get food, and they were in a position that they did not know what they were going to do. Shortly thereafter this couple went out and got a job. There is no possible way of living in complete victory apart from what God has established in His Word, yet many Christians endeavor to do this.

In Mark 4 we find the very popular parable of the sower. We know from Jesus' explanation that the seed in this parable is the Word and the ground is the heart of man (verses 14 & 15). Therefore, let's look at the first condition of Jesus' parable:

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: (4) And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. (Mark 4:3-4 - KJV)

I want you to notice the words that I have emphasized. The Word came, but it fell on the “way side”. What is this way side? In the illustration that Jesus is describing He paints a picture of a plot of land that a person is sowing seed into. In the course of this persons sowing he comes across all types of ground which represents the different conditions of the heart of man. Within that plot of ground he sows into stony ground, in another area the seed is sown shallow and has no depth, but here he illustrates that some of the seed is sown on the road adjacent to the plot of ground. This portion of ground is not part of the plot of land that is being cultivated, but is close enough that it also receives the Word.

This illustration Jesus is speaking of is when the heart of a man or woman is not connected. They are close enough that the Word will come to them, but they actually are not part of the plot being cultivated. This is a very dangerous and deceiving place to be because scripture clearly states that when the Word does come to them it is quickly devoured. For the Word of God to make this distinction then we must realize that there are people with hearts in this condition. But how does one get this way?

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus states that He is going to build a Church that the gates of hell cannot prevail against. This word “Church” in the Greek is the word, “ekklesia (ek-klay-see'-ah)” which is compound word. If you study this word from the Greek in it's compound form you will see that it denotes a gathering together from whence action or motion proceeds. It is the idea of an assembly that has come together in unity to be equipped with the Word of God so that they can infiltrate a dark world with the light of the gospel. This is the picture of what the Church should be, an equipping station so that believers can manifest the gospel to the lost.

Unfortunately in the day and time we live in many forsake the assembling of themselves together (Heb. 10:25) and have allowed their hearts to become “way side” ground. They are now in a position that when the Word of God comes it gets devoured before they see the harvest.

Unfortunately, this is a dynamic impact that has taken place on the American culture. According to Barna Research in March 2005 they found that more people use Christian media than attend churches. This number only grows worse as time marches on. This is a phenomenal statistic that shows how many do not consider the things spoken by the Holy Spirit as important. Many times when a Pastor starts speaking about church attendance and/or involvement in the church people assume that this Pastor is just wanting a bigger crowd. But actually, assembling together was God's idea not Pastors. In May 2004 Barna Research determined that the number of unchurched people had doubled since 1991 and according to a March 2005 research the number of unchurched people was one in three adults in America.

This is why Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:7) by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that there are those who are ever learning, but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They tap into Christian media by watching TV, reading books, and listening to tapes. All of these are good things in their place, but absent from the plan of God it is just educating the mind because the truth of that Word gets devoured according to Mark 4.

God has a plan for His people to reflect His glory in the earth. That plan very specifically calls for His people to be a body that is fully connect, in submission one to the other, and supplying one another that which is needed. This plan of God is for ministers and ministries also.

I have used the statement many times that there are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. The Lone Ranger was a television personality who rode around doing good and saving people from distresses, but did everything on his own. This is not God's system and it is not the truth of the Word that we find.

If we are ever going to fully reflect the power of Christ and see His purpose manifested in our lives, we are going to have to become one in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).

God has a plan that will allow us to live in victory in every situation that we find ourselves in, but we must become part of His design. Remember, if it is God it will always work!

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Comments 9 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Brenda: I agree we cannot trust in all pastors anymore, But we don't have to either solong as we palce our whole-hearted trust in God and Jesus.


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Jesus in His prayer said we needed to be one as He and the Father are one.It is obvious in Acts 2 they were unified and they went from 120 to 3120 in one night! Unity is critical. The lone ranger is no friend of God he is self centered and not God centered..there is nothing in the Bible that supports the Lone Ranger as a good thing..thank you for the Hub.


ThePastor profile image

ThePastor 4 years ago from California Author

@Brenda - No offense at all. I agree that the majority is probably as you explained, but that doesn't mean the true is not present and this is where I say a person needs to seek the Lord.

According to Barna Research a few years ago, the average Pastor prays less that 15 minutes per day. So again, agreed on what you said, but that doesn't mean there are not Pastors who live in prayer.

My problem with the attitude of the day is that people want to be entertained. Entertainment brings lots of people and someone who will preach the Word of God as truth probably has a much smaller congregation. Most want the large church because of the programs.

While man has failed in many respects, man's failure did not negate God's plan.

Thanks for your input.


Brenda Durham 4 years ago

Pastor, I didn't mean to offend you or anything, nor to lump all Pastors into one lump. Except the lump of responsibility. And there are, as you said, lots of wolves in the pews. But the Pastor is the one person who should be above reproach if at all possible. With the power of that pulpit comes greater responsibility than what the lay member has. But of course that doesn't absolve the lay member either.

All the members of a body should be able to work together at various times. The whole Church should be able to receive and guide lost souls toward the Kingdom of God. I think....honestly...that's where the Church fails. They worry too much about that particular Church instead of having a burden for lost souls. I rarely anymore have seen a Pastor on their knees before God! They all want to stand and lay hands on people like Benny Hinn or something! And many in the congregation go to see that too, instead of kneeling before God.


ThePastor profile image

ThePastor 4 years ago from California Author

@teacherjoe - I agree that there are many wolves in the pulpit, but there are as many if not more wolves in the pew. And yes, favoritism and the private club part is definitely wrong within the church but that is no reason to not participate in what is the plan of God.

You missed a few verses in your Bible study on the other parts, but the whole concept of God is not about religion it is about relationship and the relationship does not flow properly via internet or TV.

While there is nothing wrong with ministry via internet or TV, I utilize the resources it just can't replace the structure that God put in place, in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Very interesting.

My problem comes from too many wolves in sheeps clothing.They are too busy looking at the toothpick in my eye instead of trying to remove the plank in thiers (I do not critize them for it, that is up to the Holy Spirit to convict them not me). God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?

As well too many preachers show favouritism in chruch instead of talking with everybody.

When I have gone to many churches they feel like it is their private club and you are the unwelcome guest.

In todays world there is nothing wrong with using the internet like there was nothing wrong with using the telephone fifty years ago. Indeed, this may be a means of getting together for casual get togethers over coffee for a Bible study, which is much more meaningful than what is spewed in a lot of the churches I have been to.

God bless you.


ThePastor profile image

ThePastor 4 years ago from California Author

@Brenda - Throughout history there have always been Pastors who seek the Lord and Pastors who seek other things. Just as there are good doctors and bad doctors, good attorneys and bad attorneys.

The greater error, in my opinion, is that the average Christian chooses a church based on programs, worship, location, denomination, or some other faulty premise.

It is the Christians responsibility to seek God in where they should attend and then grow where they are planted. The Lord will never lead one who is truly seeking Him to a place where there is a Pastor with wrong motives.


Brenda Durham 4 years ago

Good hub, good advice, good intent.

The problem is (in part) that we cannot trust Pastors anymore. I personally have visited several churches over the years, and the Pastors refuse to take advice or interpretation from anyone unless it fits their personal ideas, and those ideas aren't always Godly like the Apostles in the Bible put forth; instead, they're narcissitic and put forth wrong interpretations of Scripture. Not all Pastors, I'm sure! I'm just saying that indeed there are so many that most people can't believe a word they say, just as they're not sure whether to believe a word that tv preachers say.

On the flip side, there are many many people who take every word spoken from the pulpits as Gospel. Those leaders have huge congregations; those churches are only playing church in general.

That doesn't keep me from assembling with other Christians, from going to Church totally. But it does put a damper on my desire to regularly attend church. I can usually get as much knowledge and feel the Spirit as much when I'm alone instead of in most Churches. Really. And I hate that, but it's true.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

The Pastor: Indeed if we follow the path set for us by Almighty God, we will have no problem in achieving anything set before us.

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