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20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 
Matthew 13:20-21

Is this you? Because I was behaving like this. And it’s only the Holy Spirit pointing it out a few times that I have begun to be alert concerning certain things—that when trouble, contention and arguments arise regarding certain things, it’s not just an ordinary expression of emotion, but a spirit sent to cause a falling away from the word. 

It's the events of Eden playing out once more; a seemingly harmless serpent beguiling you to doubt the word that God said. And the fruit being offered is meant to lead to death. 

And you must wonder why.

The Holy Spirit reminded me to not give up on my word just because it is going through contention.  He reminded me to stand on what He said in His word. Stand on what He spoke. Do not behave like a rootless person, that when the word you have received is going through challenges, you’re ready to disbelieve God and the seed He planted. 

How many of us are exchanging our destinies for a piece of bread? How many of us are exchanging our birthright for what is convenient; for what looks like a God thing but is not sent by him? For a false sense of peace so that our friends, our families, colleagues, and loved ones won’t challenge us, fight us? How many of us are giving up what is precious, to accept what is similar in appearance because we don’t want to contend for our promise?

You cannot take it for granted the heart of man. It is deceitful and desperately wicked. God says, “I, the Lord search the heart.”

Whose heart did you ever search? When’s the last time you thought to search your loved one’s heart? Just because a person has not given you reason to search their heart or question their intentions, does not make them exempt. Have you even considered examining your own heart? 

It’s not to say everyone is evil with evil intentions. There are people who have ill intentions; there are those who may not be evil per se, but at that moment their hearts are not right. There are others who are good people, but in [a moment of] weakness, Satan takes opportunity through them  to derail you because he knows you trust that person, or those people. We must discern, as Jesus did with Peter, when the Holy Spirit spoke through him by revelation (Matthew16:17) and when Satan spoke through him to be a stumbling block (Matthew16:22-23). 

We need eyes that see beyond the flesh. We need ears to hear the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper and direction. We need his discernment. The Spirit does not impose, coerce, or force itself on us. 

The Spirit of God is there to help us. Help us discern a bad deal; help us discern when things are not as they seem; when people are not what they seem; when people’s words are not what they seem.

All this to say: guard your word from God. Don’t forsake it; don’t give up on it; don’t let time cause you to destroy the roots of it. Don’t trade it for what looks right; don’t just accept gifts that you are given. Discern through which spirit a friend, a loved one, a colleague, a boss, a family member is speaking.  If the devil is after something, decide that you won’t let him have it, come what may. Have audacity about your life. Have audacity to believe God. Have audacity to say you won’t accept anything that is not from God himself. 

It's not to say that He must descend from a ladder from heaven to personally advise your steps; but build the relationship well, so that you can discern his voice in people, in his word, in your spirit; wherever you are. Ask for discernment concerning words spoken by the spirit, and words spoken by the flesh. 

There is a scripture that I used to quote to myself before: “my strength and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” 

Audacity is not easy. My strength once fell, hence why Matthew13:20-21 dropped into my spirit. My strength recently fell, until God sent someone to help re-order my steps.

And it’s in this re-ordering of my steps that he is helping me to understand to guard the word, keep the word.

Speak to God about every word that He has spoken. And that word that He has given, and the revelation that He has shown; decide the cost you are willing to pay to defend it.