"Then He said to them, 'Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given."
- Mark 4:24 NKJV
Earlier this year, the Lord began dealing with me about how I was failing to reap the full benefit of His Word and promises. He started with a verse from Deuteronomy 7:15 (NIV), which says, "The Lord will keep you free from every disease." This particular Scripture was very familiar to me. For years, I had prayed it over my family, and had claimed it as my own. God made me realize that I was measuring this promise short by not truly believing that He would keep my loved ones and me free from EVERY disease. I had repeatedly spoken this Scripture with my lips, but I did not believe in my heart that the Lord really meant "every" disease. To my own natural mind, it seemed unreasonable that in a fallen world, I could ask or expect God to keep His Word in this case. But once I sensed the Lord's challenge, I decided to take a leap of faith and to start praying and expecting the total deliverance this verse promises.
As if to remind me of His challenge, the Lord led me to some passages in Scripture the other day which record some of Jesus' teachings on sowing the Word of God. In Mark 4:20 (NKJV), He says: "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." Notice that those who receive the Word in a good heart will not all bear the same amount of fruit; some will bear more than others. In the same passage, the Savior reveals why. "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given." (Mark 4:24 NKJV) The NASB translation says, "By your standard of measure it will be measured to you." In other words, how we hear and measure the Word of God will determine the measure of fruit we will reap from it. When you hear or read that the Lord has promised to supply ALL your needs (Philippians 4:19), do you really hear "all," or do you make excuses based on doubt or reasoning? Remember, Jesus said that "to you who hear, MORE will be given." Do you want to be included in the "more" category? Then you are going to have to stop measuring God's promises short.
In the following verse in Mark 4, Jesus says: "For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." (Mark 4:26 NKJV) We find out earlier in this passage that God is not the one who robs us of the Word or its fruit, but the enemy. Mark 4:15 (NIV) says: "As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them." One way that we allow Satan to steal the Word from us is to refuse to believe that God means EXACTLY what He says. When Scripture says that the Lord delivers us from ALL our fears (Psalm 34:4), do you really believe that you can live totally free from fear, or do you reserve the right to hang on to some of them?
When we measure God's Word short, we put limits on His work in our lives, and in the lives of others. But when we get into agreement with the Word, we reap untold amounts of fruit--for our good and His glory. The Lord is challenging you and me today to prove our belief in the power and truth of His Word by applying it to our specific situations and petitions. When we do, He will move heaven and earth to honor His promises to us!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for all of the times I measured Your Word short, and failed to reap the abundant harvest You had for me. Give me a believing heart, and teach me how to take You at Your Word from now on. Thank You that as I believe that You mean exactly what You say, You will bless me and use me in extraordinary ways for Your glory!
- J. M. Farro