Right before the following verse, Jesus has just finished delivering the “Parable of the Tares”, and the people around Him asked Him to explain it. Right now, we’re in the first part of that explanation. — This is what God gave me today in His word:
The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mark 4:14-17)
Let’s look at the two explanations that Jesus gives here (of the parable He told a couple of minutes ago) separately:
Satan Comes to Steal
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
Specifically, it would seem, to steal the word from the hearts of believers. Now isn’t that a cheery thought? Satan can come and actually steal the word of God from you. He’s actually able to steal the meaning from you when you read the Bible, or, it seems, even steal your very salvation from you… Or, is that really so? Doesn’t the Christian, even if only a very new Christian, have protection against such things? Well, the reality is that we’re asking the wrong questions. Let’s review the verse we’re talking of:
The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
No, Satan cannot take away salvation. However, he can conveniently remind us that it’s about time for lunch, a minute before we start our Bible study, or any number of things that seem harmless enough, but distract us from what God wants us to do. However, one thing that we mentioned above that Satan can do, is take away the significance of “the word” when we hear it. Or, to be more exact, think of it in these terms:
You’ve just heard probably the best sermon of your entire life (hopefully that’s a weekly experience). You feel that the pastor really did an absolutely fantastic job of expounding on the Scripture he was talking about. But now you’re on the road, headed home… When, all of a sudden, you turn left, and find yourself in the midst of traffic which seems to stretch a mile or more. A moment later, you get a call that the reason for the hold up is that your son, who came in his own car because of his job, had a horrible crash in a pileup of about six or seven cars. Now then, how long do you think you’d remember the sermon if something like that had actually happened?
Now, we know that the Devil actually does have power, if God grants it to him first, to cause things like that to happen. Look at Job if you want to see what I mean; he lost his entire livelihood, and broke out in a horrible disease. Granted, that wasn’t for the reasons I’m putting out now, but the point is that the Devil was use every way within his power to take away the value of the word from your life. Which is why its important actually put on that armor we talked about earlier.
Satan Comes to Kill and Destroy
He tries to destroy the word of God, and its power, in our lives. Its one of the things that are on the top of his “to-do” list. Destroying the power of God in every way possible, is Satan’s single goal. He first tried to destroy God’s power by overthrowing Him, now he’s moved to trying to undermine his authority in His people; us. He does this, in part, by the moment someone turns to Christ, attempting to choke them out.
The Christians he uses this tactic on, are shallow. Their exuberant in their acceptance of Christ, yet there’s no change in their lives! Soon they’ll be choked by the troubles and pleasures of the World.
To summarize: the Devil really does have power, when its given to him, and isn’t some mythical being out there. Which is why we need to “clothe ourselves in Christ,” by always keeping Him the focus of our lives.
You are Loved!