Scatter seed on rocky ground, allow the rain and sun to do their work and just watch the little plants burst into life. But for how long? Without a depth of soil, water will not be retained; the roots will not find enough resources to support the plant against the heat of the day, the cold nights or the storms. The climatic testing will be too much for the little thing; and the promising start will be shamed as the plant withers away.
Jesus said that some of His hearers would be like that: quick to respond, but unprepared for the gospel which will demand more than their initial enthusiasm. Without removing the obstacles to Christ's life developing within them, their faith would dry up. Jesus chose twelve disciples to be His apostles (although Judas Iscariot fell away, demonstrating the shallowness of those who love to hold onto their old way of life). They needed a three-year apprenticeship to learn how to minister effectively. Part of that training was not to presume the spiritual depth of new converts in the Early Church (1 Corinthians 3:2): because every new believer needs to be discipled (Matthew 28:19).
Shallow faith will say it believes, and may look deep when copying others in church. The real test comes when believers are isolated in the workplace or persecuted in the community. The spiritually healthy will thrive in such circumstances because they have removed the obstacles to spiritual growth (the 'rocks' of the old sinful life). Their spiritual roots are firmly anchored in Jesus and God's Word (Colossians 2:6-7). But those who thought they could stand firm because of their enthusiasm, fall away (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Stay shallow and your spiritual life will shrivel! Retain the rocks and your spiritual roots will rot! Please pray that, as Word@Work is sent all over the world today, people who say they believe will want to read, deepen their faith and grow strong to keep standing for Jesus when life gets tough.
© Dr Paul Adams