Avoiding the Way Side
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.”
Jesus often spoke in parables so that the truth that He was trying to get across was easy to understand. One of the parables He taught was about a man who sowed seed in the field. As some of his seed fell by the wayside, the fowls of the air came and devoured the seed. In the verse above, Jesus explained that portion of the parable by telling them that the “way side” is simply when one doesn’t understand the Gospel, Satan sends his servants to catch their heart and turn them away from the Gospel so that they won’t get saved.
Though this verse is talking about the Gospel, I believe it also gives a good warning to the believer who comes across a portion of Scripture that they don’t understand. You must be very careful about not being pulled into false doctrine when you don’t understand Scripture. Let me give you several pieces of advice to help you when you find yourself not understanding a portion of Scripture.
First, always be aware of the danger of the wayside. When you don’t understand a portion of the Scripture, you are in territory that can cause you to be pulled into false doctrine. Be careful about being so inquisitive about what it says that you are willing to take information in from any source. Always understand that Satan has his instructors out there to give his doctrine, and the information of his instructors can often sound convincing. I am warning you that you are on dangerous ground when you don’t understand the Scriptures.
Second, let the Holy Spirit guide you to the truth. John 16:13 says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” When you don’t understand a portion of the Scripture, you must ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart so that you don’t get pulled into a false doctrine. Yield your mind to the Holy Spirit, and be patient to let Him guide you into the truth in His timing.
Third, let the Scriptures be your guide when trying to understand a portion of Scripture. It is vitally important that you let the Scriptures guide you in the times when you don’t understand something. Too many believers run to a man’s commentary when the Scriptures will ultimately define themselves. God doesn’t need a man to make you understand what He says because that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Be very careful about making man’s thoughts your foundation for understanding a complex portion of Scripture.
Fourth, Scripture NEVER contradicts Scripture. Many have fallen into false doctrine because they focused on one word or one verse without taking all of the Scriptures into consideration. If your conclusion of a difficult portion of Scripture doesn’t agree with all of the Scriptures, your conclusion is wrong. Don’t try to make the Scriptures fit into what you want them to say, but let your conclusions come from letting all of the Scriptures establish the truth.
Fifth, be willing to let God show you what He means in His timing. When God just won’t reveal His truth to you, be willing to wait on the LORD to show you the truth in His timing. I have found throughout the years there are some things I don’t need now, but God shows them to me when I need them. God knows when you need the truth; trust Him that He will reveal the truth to you when you need it.