For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
When we make Jesus Lord and become born again, we are given everything that pertains to life and godliness. (According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Peter 1:3) It starts with a measure of faith. Many scriptures encourage us to grow in faith – 2 Corinthians 10:15; Colossians 2:7; Philippians 1:25; Jude 1:20.
Faith must grow beyond the initial measure. Faith comes (increases) by hearing (actively and often) the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Where do these words of faith do their growing? Words of faith grow in the heart. So, we’ve been given a measure of faith that was planted in our hearts. That word of faith increases as we hear them, and we are responsible for growing the words of faith and to speak them out of our mouths.
Mark 4:3-83 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
Mark 4:13-20 Then Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Some are like the seeds sown on rocky ground. They hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But they themselves have no root, and they remain for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Others are like the seeds sown among the thorns. They hear the word, 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 Still others are like the seeds sown on good soil. They hear the word, receive it, and produce a crop—thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.”
Here we see that the Word is sown into the hearts of the hearer. However, what the Word produces depends on the condition of the heart of the hearer. For those characterized as having shallow hearts, in verses five and six, they hear the Word, believe, and receive it with joy. That is an excellent start! However, the Word doesn’t get the opportunity to grow a deep root system within the heart; therefore, it can’t endure harsh conditions. The roots didn’t get the chance to grow down deep enough to a source of water because the soil was too shallow. What causes the “soil” to become deeper? Let’s look at Psalm 1.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
The motivation for meditating on the Word of God is delight in the Word of God. Delight causes meditation and meditation causes growth. Meditating is pondering, talking, muttering, thinking about the Word of God. If you’re meditating, you’re not mocking, and if you’re meditating, you’re not scornful.
30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:30-32
Large branches require deep roots. Delighting in the Word of God, meditating on it, listening to it, speaking it, and always going back to it will cause it to grow. Comparing and believing the Word against what you’re seeing, hearing, and experiencing rather than your circumstances will cause it to grow deeper. What is the Word rooted in? What are the rivers of water?
Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but also we glory in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, the One having been given to us.
The love of God is what the keeps the Word from drying up. The love of God has been poured out into our hearts, but it doesn’t benefit us if it is not acknowledged and put into a position where it can influence our mind, will, emotions, and decisions. Faith works by love; faith comes by hearing. Love and trust in God go hand and hand. You can’t love someone you don’t trust, and you can’t love someone you don’t know. That’s why meditating on the Word is so important. The more you meditate on the Word of God, the more you get to know Him. The more you get to know Him, the deeper your “root system” grows. The more you know Him, the more you experience His love, and the more you love Him. The deeper your trust based on love, the more you can endure circumstances and trials and persecutions. You become more stable and can grow and produce to such a degree that you impact the lives of those around you.