The Parable of the Sower
A sower looked out at his field, and instantly, he saw the potential for harvest. So, he finished his early morning meal and headed out to sow the seeds just after sunrise and before the midday sun. That way, the seed had its best chance of breakthrough and growth. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the wayside path, others by the stony places, among thorns, and finally, some on good ground. Every part of his land received seed, but the result wasn’t the same because only ¼ of the property produced fruit (Matthew 13:3-8). “Those who have ears, let them hear” (Matthew 13:9).
“I’ve heard the parable of the sower, but how is it related to freedom from OCD?”
Well, the key to breakthrough from OCD is discovering the type of soil that lies in your heart. It determines how the seed, or the word of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:19), will be received. How do I know this?
I suffered from OCD for nine years. I washed my hands until it appeared that I had no skin. Emotional contamination pestered my thoughts. Harassed daily by intrusive thoughts, I couldn’t live a healthy life. So, I developed a multitude of irrational behaviors to appease the anxiety of feeling contaminated.
I had no hope of freedom until I genuinely believed everything Jesus said.
The Wayside Soil
One of the characteristics of OCD is the belief that the compulsive behavior will ease the mental torment (or obsession). For me, I couldn’t see any other path to freedom. I did whatever was necessary to stop the thoughts, even when I knew I was hurting myself. All I wanted was peace; instead, I exuded despair.
When the seed falls on the wayside, the birds of the air come and devour it before it has the chance to breakthrough and to grow roots (Matthew 13:4). Jesus explained that this represents people who hear the Word of the Kingdom, and who don’t understand it. So, satan comes and catches away the word that was sown into their heart (Matthew 13:19).
Understand, or syniēmi means to set or join together in the mind or comprehend and consider acting wisely. I read the word of God but didn’t perceive how it applied to my life, especially the OCD. Now, I knew that OCD as a mental stronghold was sin, but after so many years of suffering, I lost hope and gave up fighting and believing that freedom was possible. I simply accepted OCD as my identity.
The Words of Jesus couldn’t grow roots in my heart because of my wayside soil.
F.B. Meyers provides an accurate description of the wayside soil. “In the course of the years, it has been trodden down by passengers and traffic. The seed falls to the surface but cannot penetrate. When our hearts reach that condition, we need to ask God to drive through us the ploughshare of conviction and sorrow” (see Sowing in Different Soils).
Let the Holy Spirit Plow Your Heart
OCD didn’t disappear after a prayer or a word of encouragement.
The process of freedom began with the Holy Spirit asking me to separate myself from sin. He told me to cancel Netflix, erase all the songs on my playlist, and give up watching worldly television shows. My only option from there on out was Him and His Word.
You see, the contamination wasn’t outward; it was inward (Matthew 23:25). As the Holy Spirit worked on the soil of my heart, He exposed all the sin inside it. I had become infected with the filth of wickedness. Even if I heard the truth, my mindset wouldn’t allow me to understand and perceive how it applied to my freedom.
So, He plowed through my heart. I thought the pain was punishment, but I later realized that Jesus was breaking up the soil of my heart so I could receive the Word of the Kingdom. The breakthrough had come.
A Call to Freedom
Today, you can also begin the healing journey by choosing life over death, and the Truth of God over the lies of Satan. It starts with obedience.
So, the Lord asks: Will you allow the Holy Spirit to plow through the soil of your heart?