“The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” - Luke 8:12, NRSV
You have to give credit where credit is due.
A woman came up to me in the grocery store the other day, warning me about my purse which I had left in the baby seat of the cart. She told me that she had done the exact some thing a few weeks before, in that same store, and someone had taken it. By the time she finished her tale, I was certain that she was creating a ploy to steal my purse by gaining my trust. I watch crime shows.
Lots of things get taken in the city. Someone stole all of the center caps off of our truck, maybe while it was parked in front of our house. We are not sure. These types of things send you into safety mode. Lock down the portals and latch the gates. There are creepers amongst us and they do not care what belongs to them, or not.
These people can touch my purse, our car, our home and our bank accounts...but none of them can steal my thoughts, alter my feelings, or touch the word of God in my life. There is someone who desires that power, though.
Even after we confess the name Jesus Christ with our tongue and believe that he was raised from the dead in our hearts, and even after we have this hope of salvation in our lives, we are objects of prey. The devil wants to empty the word of God from us.
This means that he will encourage us to obsess over schedules. He will create diversions as we look at people we should mimic, or look like. He will make Self-Pity our companion when we are tired. It only seems natural to expect our husbands to understand how hard we have it, right? We will doubt our callings and struggle under the weight of our gifts.
The word is what he is after, and only the devil would ever try to accomplish this. I will give him credit for that.
The reason? It is our lifeline. The word stands between this woman and the darkest powers that I can imagine. This word even tells me how to pray. It needs to be spoken back, shouted back, and sung back simply to live.
“But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.” - Luke 8:15, NRSV
For life, we must hear the word. Not just saying words but hear it like we were being told the biggest secret of all time. It is the juiciest morsel of word goodness ever produced. Once we hear it, we have to hold it like a purse, downtown, in the middle of the park, at night. We have to keep it for ourselves, never letting one syllable carelessly drop to the ground. We need to lock it down.
So, I will give him credit for his big ideas, but I know this...he can turn our heads, but he cannot turn our hearts. Amen.