Saturday, December 6, 2014

How is our "Infiltration Capacity?"

Infiltration Capacity: the maximum rate at which a soil in a given condition will absorb water.

As I was studying for my geography exam today, I came across this term. It felt as if the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and asked: "What is your infiltration capacity?"

Of course, I wasn't sure what he meant. So he proceeded to remind me of the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20). In this parable, there are four types of ground the seed (the word) is sown into. A) The ground by the way side (beside the path or road), B) Stony ground, C) Thorny ground, and d) Good ground. 

The ground by the way side is not cultivated. It is hardened by the walking tracks and animal and human alike, not to mention carts being pulled by animals. Therefore, the Infiltration capacity for this ground is not very high. Not only is it hard to plant a seed there, it is hard for water to get to the seed, so the seed dries out and lays there. Birds come along and take the seed away. There will be no harvest in the ground by the way side. Many hearers of the word are barely fazed by it, before the enemy is able to strip that holy seed from their minds. 

The Stony ground has a little bit higher Infiltration capacity. After all, water can get caught between the rocks and soften the ground. The seed can even land there and begin to take root. However, due to the rocky soil, the plant that the seed produces has a very hard time seeing the light of day. It's hard for a plant to push its way through the rocks. Not to mention that rocky soil, because of the rocks mixed in with the soil, tends to be shallow. One good rain and many young plants are simply washed away to die. A few people may make it through their stony ground- very few.

The Thorny ground has a still higher Infiltration capacity. After all, the ground below the thorny plants is loose enough for a seed and can accept water when the rains fall. But, when the plant begins to grow, it finds itself being choked out by the thorns it grows underneath. Most people who make a start and fall away are in this category. The cares of this life choke out the seed of life. What cares? Riches, fame, materialism, parties, daily needs, housing, their next conquest, etc. The list goes on and on. 

Then there's the good ground. Good ground has been tilled, breaking up the hard fallow surface. Good ground has had the rocks and thorns removed. This ground has a high Infiltration capacity. Water soaks right in to aid the growth of the seed into a strong, fruitful plant. These people almost all will make heaven. 

Then, Jesus makes another amazing inference that can lead to a more modern definition for "Infiltration Capacity:" And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?"(verse 21)

When a candle is lit, the light infiltrates the darkness around it. Is our light shining? Are we blending in to the darkness around us, or do we stand up against the darkness and allow the light of Jesus to shine forth? How far into the lives of others can the Jesus within us infiltrate? Are we hiding his light under a bushel by trying to blend in and go with the flow? 

In another chapter, Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, but that salt is no good and is trampled by the worlds feet is it has lost it's saltiness. Why is the world slipping further and further into darkness? Why are the worlds voices rising up against us and the God we stand for? 

We, the church as a whole, have by and large ceased being that salt. We've stopped being the light. Our good ground has grown fallow, hard, and filled with rocks and thorns. We, as his people, need to repent and return from whence we have fallen! Then, and only then, will we be able to have the capacity to infiltrate the world around us and effect it for the good.  

Lord, please help us to become ground that you can infiltrate with the water of your word. Please allow us to live in such a way that your light can shine through and infiltrate and effect the darkness around us. 

In Jesus name!