And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
It takes time to be rooted. A plant doesn’t develop an intricate system of roots in one day. Likewise, the Word of God needs to work in our hearts over time, to dig deep into parts of us that need its vital nourishment so that we can grow into strong fruit-bearing Christians. We won’t last long in a wicked world without the strong foundation that God’s Word provides. If our roots are not clinging to something sure and solid, then anything can uproot us. And if the Word is not ingrained in us, wrapped around our hearts, rooted deeply in our souls, we will not care about it and will let other things drive us away from God.
So let’s prepare our hearts to hear the Word. First we must remove the stones, anything in our hearts that will block God’s Word from getting through—sins we’re clinging to, pride, bitterness, an attitude of unbelief. Next we must dig deep and make room. We should cast out other things—our idols—that may take precedence and steal the space the Word needs to take root. And then we must allow God’s Word to do what it needs to do without interfering, let it find its path through our heart and spread out into every part of our life.
Jesus tells us that some hear the Word, receive it gladly, endure for so long, but then ultimately turn away. If we’ve heard the Word and received it, let’s commit to persevering and sticking with it no matter what affliction or persecution may come. Satan is going to throw everything he can at us in order to pull us away, but when we’ve allowed God’s Word to work in us and be established in us, we will have what we need to fend off whatever Satan may throw at us. We can fight the devil’s lies with the truth of God that is ingrained in us.
Not only does it take time to be rooted, but it takes some effort, as well. If we don’t want to be shallow Christians, we need to take the time to study God’s Word. We can talk about what we read with others. We go to church and hear the Word preached. It’s more than a simple skimming of words. It’s an interaction with God, a conversation with Him, and then putting it all into practice. And the more time we spend learning and growing in His Word, the more rooted we become in truth and the more able we are to withstand any harsh wind that blows our way.