chickadee1-600Numbers 5,6

The laws of the Nazarite may seem strange, but you can see certain symbolism if you look. If a man or woman was to take a vow to be holy to the Lord, they were to do certain things. The word “Nazarite” comes from a root word which means “separate.” So these people who chose to do this were saying that for a certain period of time they wanted to separate themselves from the pack and seek God.

The long hair represents a covering, or protection from demonic forces. And the abstinence from any grape product represents a clear, holy mind, with no alcohol. So these symbols were demonstrating a person with clear mind and heart so that they could seek God.

This ritual reminds me of current day fasting. Sometimes we might set ourselves apart to seek God – maybe for more clarity of vision or a greater ability to hear His voice. As we do that, we might skip certain meals, or even all food for a certain period of time to spend more time with Him.

This fasting almost always brings results, if we do it with the right attitude. It’s not that God delights in our denying ourselves. Remember, we are three parts – spirit, soul, and body. Normally our bodies get so much more attention than our spirits. When we shut down the appetites of our bodies and feed our spirits, we automatically have an increase in spiritual awareness.

Mark 4:1-20

Oh boy. This is one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible. It explains so much about how you can increase your spiritual strength – and also how you can abort it.

The Word, the Word, the Word. There is a supernatural quality to the Word of God, and we can only come to know this when we begin to commit ourselves to studying and meditating on that Word.

Yes, the Word is supernatural. It brings clarity and builds faith as we bring it into our hearts. However, our hearts make the difference as to whether it will work for us. God is such a just, even-handed God. He doesn’t randomly choose to bless one person above another. Our hearts choose for us, and we are responsible for our hearts.

So the wayside heart gets nothing. That person hears the Word just like everyone else, but rejects it outright. You may have known people like that. They probably think that they are too smart for God, so they reject His Word immediately.

The stony heart has a certain amount of soil for planting, but lots of hard places mixed in. They receive the Word, but don’t keep it. They allow the persecution and affliction to stop them. What is that? It’s when those people receive some Word, but are talked out of it by unbelievers. They are too susceptible to what others think, and they don’t respect what they are truly hearing from God.

The thorny heart receives the Word, but weeds are growing up with the good seed. Desires for worldly things and worries can choke out the Word, just as weeds choke out good seeds in a garden. Their seeds don’t produce.

The honest and good heart is the one that receives the Word and hangs on to it. And that is the heart that produces the crop.

So what’s being produced? For one thing, faith is being produced. (Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God Rom 10:17). Say, for instance, you are believing for your healing. There are plenty of scriptures which promise healing. You could meditate on these and find your faith rising inside you. However, if you allow yourself to listen to nay-sayers and mockers, or if you allow yourself to be distracted, you will not reap the fruit of that Word.

When you receive God’s Word, you have to hang on to it with all of your might. Don’t get distracted and don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Meditate, meditate, meditate, and you will see it come to fruition.