The Lord Jesus sometimes taught in parables to the multitudes, yet He was giving away the secrets of the universe.  To some, it was given to understand the parables, and to others, the words He spoke just went over their heads.  This still happens today, we can hear the words of a parable, and maybe even memorize and repeat them, but the truth behind them somehow doesn’t register in our mind.  Today I’d like to use a parable of Jesus to try to increase your understanding of what the Lord has made available to us, free for the taking by “whosoever will”.
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.
 Verse 18 is pretty much self-explanatory.  Verse 19 tells us how we can hear the Word of God preached, and yet it doesn’t sink in.  A prime example of that is to ask someone on Tuesday what the message was that was preached last Sunday.  Nine out of ten people couldn’t tell you how it applies to their life and how it changed their life and drew them closer to God.  Even if they could supply you with a recap of the sermon, chances are, the Word preached did not change them.  That’s the one who received seed (the Word) by the wayside.
 Verse 20 and 21 are the verses I want to focus on, and how it applies to receiving your healing.  Go back and read them again.  Now, when someone asks for prayer for healing, the person (maybe me) prays for them in faith.  The person needing healing is HOPING this time they will be healed, even though they had not yet received their healing by all the other prayers that had been offered up for them, thought, maybe this time.  I’d liken it to a roll of the dice, maybe this time I’ll get lucky.  Honestly, hope is there, else they wouldn’t be asking for prayer in the first place.  You must understand there is nothing wrong yet at this point, we’re just talking about “hope”.  And they go away rejoicing, perhaps thanking God for their healing, just like they’ve done a thousand times before.  And as it says in verse 21, Yet hath he not root in himself.  In other words, he or she is not “settled” in their heart that healing is theirs.
Now, here’s where I ask the Lord to open your understanding as He opened mine.  This is important, and you really need to get this:  but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.  The person who was prayed for believes they are healed for a while, but when the devil comes and attacks them with symptoms, they lose confidence in their prayer and confession.  Then they become “offended” because of the tribulation that has arisen because of the Word’s sake.  Listen!  The devil is not just going to throw his hands up and turn around and walk away after you have been prayed for.  He will, in every case, come back and try to recapture lost ground.  I tell people this, “A burglar will never break into an empty apartment because there is nothing there to steal.”  By prayer, you have been given a precious treasure, and the devil, being the thief he is, comes and tries to relieve you of that treasure, by whatever means he can.  If he can’t simply blind your understanding of the Word, then he will try to convince you that you’re not worthy to possess that treasure.  Failing that, he will hit you with lying symptoms including disability and pain to try to convince you that you’re not healed.  He’s out to steal your healing, and if you let him, he will do it.
 When we let the devil convince us that God’s Word isn’t true, and doesn’t do what God said it will do, then we have become “offended” because of tribulation or persecution arising because of the Word.  That’s exactly what the devil wants:  in effect, by turning loose of the promises in God’s Word, you are saying it isn’t worth hanging onto.  Something that has no worth or value is not missed when it is stolen from you.  If you put the garbage out at your driveway, and somebody drives by and decides to steal it, no big deal to you, because it’s only just trash, right?  But let them trash your brand new car, and you’re going to be pretty upset.  Why?  Because it’s of great value to you.  There is nothing in this world that is of greater value than God’s Word.  Your house or multiple houses you may own have little value compared to God’s Word.  In reality, your Holy Bible is the most valuable possession you own, if you are reading it, for in it are all the promises and provision of God for your life. 
 When the devil comes to steal from you, hold onto the promises like you would a gunny sack full of diamonds.  Don’t let your circumstances move you.  Be moved only by the Word of God and you will be victorious over every attack the devil makes against you.  Never be deceived into thinking the devil will not attack you.  Jesus never promised us roses without thorns.  Persecution and tribulation WILL arise for the Word’s sake, and He warned us ahead of time.  Anything worth having is worth defending, whether it be our freedom, or our healing.  And if you want it, you WILL have to contend for it, and whether you keep it or not depends how willing you are to stand in spite of all opposition until you have won, period!  Anything less that being the last one standing is not victory.  Standing almost to the end is not winning.  You stand on the promises until you’ve won, and there is no other option if you intend to be an overcomer.  Just so you know why you need to be an overcomer, I’ll tell you:  It is written in Revelation 21:7-8;
 Rev 21:7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
 Go back and read Matthew 13: 22-23, the one who receives the Word but is deceived by the deceitfulness of riches is the one that hears the Word, and likes what they hear, but let job and pursuit of possessions take place over the Word.  They soon turn loose of the Word because they let themselves get busy doing other things.  Perhaps a weekend trip to the lake to have fun becomes more important to them than taking time to study their Bible and pray.  Soon, the cares of the world choke out the Word, just like weeds being allowed to slowly overtake your garden, and at some point, the Word is no longer first place in your life.  Usually it happens so gradually, you don’t even realize it’s happened.  Now, if you were on fire for God, and the devil told you to put your Bible away and stop reading it, you’d see through his scheme right away.  But the devil is slick, he will dangle things in front of you that he knows you will desire, in order to turn your attention away from God.  He won’t tell you to put your Bible down and go clean out your garage.  He knows anyone in their right mind would rather read their Bible than clean their garage, right?  But if he suggests you postpone your Bible reading today to go on a free fishing trip with your friends paying the way, hey, let’s do it…Like I said, the devil is slick, and you’d better be aware and know your enemy.  He is out to destroy you by any means he can.
 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.  
 Thank you, Lord Jesus, I couldn’t have said it better myself!