How many times must we hear the Word of God before it actually changes our lives?  Time and time again I hear the sad stories of people who keep going around the same old mountain, unable to break free of the past.  Some would go so far as to say, “the mountain is getting higher”.  No, the mountain isn’t getting any higher, but the rut you’re in just keeps getting deeper.  And do you know what?  Every time you go around that mountain, the rut will be deeper than it was the time before.  Is there any hope for lasting change?  Glad you asked!
    In times past I’ve used the parable of the sower, and I’d like to revisit it today, for there is wisdom we can gain from it.  Jesus often spoke to the people in parables.
Mat 13:9  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Mat 13:18  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Mat 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Mat 13:23  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

    The Lord Jesus explained the parable to the disciples, and they wrote it down so we could understand it as well.  I don’t need to go back verse by verse and explain it, because it’s already abundantly clear. 
    People are creatures of habit, in case you haven’t noticed that.  Actually, we resist change, and that’s how the devil keeps us oppressed.  It’s only when we make the decision to climb out of the rut going around the mountain, that there is any hope for something different.  Someone once told me that they were really sick and tired of the same old, same old.  Yeah, they were, but not tired enough to change anything.  So far, they were still in “whine” mode, like a lot of people, not happy where they were, but not desperate enough to make their getaway.  You can’t help those kind, no matter how badly you want to.  You can cry with them, preach to them, take them by the hand and pull them out of the rut, but do you know what?  As soon as you get them out, they stand up and dust themselves off, they will look around and find the nearest ladder to climb back down into their little rut, because it’s all they’ve ever known, and they’re comfortable there, not happy, mind you, but comfortable.  You may as well just leave them where they’re happy and move on to find someone who REALLY wants some help.  Today, I’m hoping you’ve had enough time in the rut and you’re ready to come out.  Life really IS better out of the rut.  I know, I’ve been in the rut, and now I’m out.  I like OUT better, and you will too, trust me.  You may not think so at first, but God really DOES have a better plan for your life than the one you’re currently living.
    In the parable of the sower, Jesus explained only one person of the four produced any fruit, sadly, that means three-quarters of them didn’t.  But, oh, that one person bore fruit some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred fold.  Those are some quality results.  The first one heard and didn’t understand, maybe just wasn’t paying attention. For whatever reason, the Word of God didn’t affect and change him.  The second one heard and received the Word joyfully, but having no root in himself, only endured for a short time, and went back to his same old way.  You see, the devil will oppose you, to resist that Word from taking root in you, and bringing lasting benefit into your life.  You seriously don’t think the devil gives up easily, do you?  No, he doesn’t.  You have to contend for your freedom, and if you’re too lazy to contend for the blessings of God, you don’t deserve them in the first place.  Enough said there.  The third one heard the Word of God, but allowed other things in his life to choke out the Word and he became unfruitful.  Notice it says he “BECAME” unfruitful.  He didn’t start out that way, but little by little, the cares of the world came in and he started giving more care to worldly affairs than he did to the Word of God.  Little by little, the Word of God got choked out, and guess what?  He ended up back in the rut again.  I hear those same people say, “I tried God for a while but nothing changed.”  First off, you don’t “TRY” God.  You pursue Him with all you have, and you keep doing it forever.  Change comes “AS YOU PURSUE”.  But you can take comfort in the fact that if you’re bound and determined to “try God” and it doesn’t work out for you, the devil will always take you back…..
   If you REALLY want out of your rut, it will take some effort on your part.  But anything good is worth effort, wouldn’t you agree?  Yeah, the devil will resist you, but that isn’t the biggest problem.  The biggest problem is, YOU will resist any attempt at change, and you can’t blame the devil for that.  You’ve been doing laps around the same old mountain for so long, that’s the only life you know.  And even though there is a better life on the mountaintop, old habits will keep you in the rut.  Don’t ask me how I know this…..
   One day I made a quality decision to change my life and stopped listening to the rut pleading for me to come back home.  I was NOT comfortable out of the rut for a while, and every day it called to me; Oh, PLEASE come back!  Don’t you miss me?  Yeah, I missed the rut for a while, after all, it was the only home I’d ever known.  But the Lord helped me get my eyes on His Kingdom, you know, the one on TOP of the mountain??  I’ve been living there now for quite a few years and I will NEVER go back to my old life.  There’s plenty of room in the rut for whosoever wants it, but I hope it become deserted.
   You can use the Word of God to completely change your life.  You can be happy, full of joy, healthy, have all your needs met and be full of life.  Yes, it’s going to take a lot of effort to change, but the rewards are well worth it.  God will do His part, and you must do yours by getting into the Word and not just reading it, but confessing it and making it the center of your life, resisting the temptation to go back to things as they were.  Growth is a daily thing.  Change WILL come, stay with it.
   Maybe you’ve been trying to climb out of the rut, and your old nature is pulling you back in.  LOOK UP!  God created the mountain, but man created the rut around it.  The Lord Jesus has a long arm, so that no matter how deep you are in the rut, He can bring you out and set you in a good place.  You’ll squint for a while because it’s dark in the rut and your eyes aren’t used to the Light, but you’ll be fine if you just hang in there.  Pretty soon you’ll be amazed at the view you’ve been missing from where you are now.  How about it?  One more trip around the mountain for old times’ sake, or are you done?