Because man is not basically good at heart, but a selfish, rebellious criminal, always doing what he wants in defiance of God’s rule and Law, our heart and mind are destructive to our good. God is love and wants to bless us and have a relationship with us, but we follow other ideas that we have heard from people around us. This world is our friend and the source of influence when we make decisions and lifestyle choices. Maybe we have trusted family or friends and followed their advice. Maybe we have been hurt by religious people and have rejected ideas about God. Maybe we just follow our hearts.
Anyway, we are estranged from God, and our own ideas and choices are destroying us. The root of our problems are buried deep inside us. The condition of our minds, shut to what God has to tell us destroys all hope of finding forgiveness and solutions to all our deep unfulfilled longings. We sense what is right, but do what God says is wrong and selfish. We feel bad, but still look out for ourselves even with people we say we love.
We must change the way we think and operate our lives. God has provided a powerful way for us to change or be transformed. It is the old fashioned book, called the Bible. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” [Romans 12:2 NKJV]. This transformation is a miraculous and powerful change in character and nature. The Greek word used for “transformed” is the root for the English word, osmosis, the idea of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. This is why the story Jesus teaches his disciples about the farmer and the seed is so important.
Matthew 13:3-9 NKJV
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.  But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
You see, the seed is the Words of the Bible. Jesus said, “… the word of the kingdom,” [Matthew 13:19] is planted by a preacher into your mind when you hear it spoken or you simply read it. These are specifically the commands of Jesus Christ starting with “repent.” But, if your mind is not prepared properly like a farmer does before planting, you do not understand it, while you resist and reject it immediately. It is like a farmer throwing seed onto the road or hardened path. Nothing happens and the seed is wasted. The source of the problem is not the good seed, but the bad ground. Your mind is the problem, you won’t even listen to God’s Word. You refuse to listen and understand.
Remember, the first command of your Creator, repent, is to stop doing what you have always done in your life. Your way is completely contradictory to God’s way of life. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” [Isaiah 55:8-9]. You must understand this! You must turn away from your mindset and your lifestyle. You must admit you are wrong and God is right! Sin is disobeying the commands of God and living the life that says, “no one tells me what to do.”
This is the only road to transformation and eternal life. Truth is not what you decide it is. Truth is what God says it is. This is why the Bible says to repent, and receive God’s pardon through Jesus, who fully paid the criminal charges against you, by dying on a cross in judgment for crimes He did not commit. Instead He chose to die in you place, for your crimes! Your mind must be open to receive this seed! You must listen and receive the ideas of God, believe in His power to create the universe, His eternal kingdom, His laws, His justice, His mercy, His love, and His salvation. If not, you have no hope of anything fruitful or lasting. You have no hope to know and understand God.
It is not good enough to just understand enough about God to want to go to heaven. It is not good enough to get excited about it and know and believe there is a heaven and hell. You must become a disciple of Jesus the Messiah and fully commit to His will. “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” [Matthew 13:20-21]. So called backsliders are described here.
They can believe in God for days, months or years but like Judas, when they are confronted with making decisions of life that will cost them or conflict with their desires, they quit God’s will, and follow their own way. If they want a woman like King David of the Old Testament, it does not matter what God commands, they disobey His teaching and choose the woman. They backslide.
The problem was not the seed, but the mind or heart of this person. They did not have the endurance to obey God, because they are still a lost soul.“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us” [1 John 2:19].
Still condemned under the just criminal charges of God’s holy law, they are just as hopeless as the first person described. Neither understood the cost of sin, God’s justice and judgment, or truly repented of following their ways and thoughts. They do not understand the words of the kingdom.
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” [Matthew 13:22]. Even hypocrites do not understand God’s Word! Yes, the faithful church members who are too busy to love God with all their hearts, all their souls, all their minds, and all their strength.
They are too busy except to attend church services on Sunday or Saturday night. They have too many personal goals and problems to commit to God’s purposes. They are too busy with their careers, hobbies, and families to take the time to understand the eternal truths of heaven and hell. Far too busy to sacrificially live and work for Jesus Christ, and be a true faithful disciple.
Our half-way covenant of the 21st century is a verbal claim of eternal life, weekly or almost weekly church attendance as long as the church provides a joyful hour of singing, drama, and a short motivational speech from a charismatic speaker. No repentance, change of lifestyle, or powerful and radical transformation required!
God warns, “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” [2 Tim. 3:2-5].
Too busy following their dreams and desires [lusts according to the Bible] they do not understand or heed God’s kingdom message, and are “… led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” This third troubled group describes unfruitful church attendees who enjoy going to meetings, donating a little money and feeling good about themselves, but deceived by thinking they are righteous while secretly living in sin. Instead, they still have no power over sins or relief from the problems and conflicts it creates in their lives, homes, businesses, and churches.
So what is the source of our conflicts, issues or chronic problems? How do we trace our problems to their root causes and get lasting solutions? It is easier than you think! When you face your problems you must look into the Bible for the answer. The Bible exposes the root causes and has lasting solutions. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” [2 Tim. 3:16].
This claims that every word in the Bible comes directly from God’s mouth, supernaturally given as the answers to all your needs. Like a gold mine of valuable help you must learn to dig out the truth, understand it, and apply it and receive great rewards and blessings from God. As Jesus taught His disciples, “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Matthew 13:23 (NLT)
The old word meditate comes to mind. Dig in until you get it! God’s ways are clearly recorded through historical stories of God interacting with people and commands and instructions. All kinds of problems are faced in its pages and God allows men to see themselves and their need to turn from sin [criminal activity] and receive God’s forgiveness and with new power [grace] to live a new life. His insights and directions bring blessing and peace!
You can trace your problems to real root causes: disobedience to the commands of Christ. Every violation has spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical consequences. You must learn to find the broad principles of scripture based on God’s nature and character, and taught as God’s rules.