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Something must change before I can act the way God wants me to act.

The parable of the sower, Matthew 13:1-23, quotes and mirrors the first six chapters of the book of Isaiah. In both, God is talking to us about our senses of SEEING and HEARING and how we allow them to become numb from not pursuing God and paying attention to the world around us.

But God does not lose interest in us, He does not abandon us to become a mere reflection of what we see in our world. God continues to sow in us, in everyone else in fact.

In Isaiah, God starts out by examining how and what we look at:

“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” Isaiah 6:1

Right off, Isaiah is confronted by God with an astounding vision. He is overwhelmed and terrified of what he is seeing. This is drastically different than anything he was familiar with. No one that I know sees this kind of thing every day.

What had happened to Isaiah? Uzziah, the source of everything that Isaiah valued had died. This meant that Isaiah was now on his own…but not really. God was getting his attention. More importantly, God was giving Isaiah a message for us, one that Jesus repeats in the parable of the sower. God tells Isaiah this: “…otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.” Isaiah 6:10b

Jesus repeats and comments on this verse in Matthew 13:15: “For the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes…”

Isaiah, the people Jesus was speaking to (that is us) both had closed their eyes to God and as a result could not see Him and could not hear Him. These two senses work together.

What does that mean for us? We must look at God, and we must listen to Him. We must pray and read His word. We must allow what we see and read to change us, and to cause us to act differently.

What’s more, we must look at people the way God does. We cannot offer them a little hope and then run away. God does not run away from us, and He wants us to be unafraid to stand fast when His word is rejected, hoping that we see the seeds God has planted in is and those around us start to grow.

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