Satan targets both the spiritually strong and the spiritually weak. Whatever the level of our spiritual maturity, the enemy has a plan to make us spiritually stagnant. Jesus warned against this in His parable of the sower (see Matthew 13).

In this analogy, the sower is God and the seeds are God’s Word. The devil knows he has no power over the sower or the seed. This is why he focuses on corrupting the soil where the seeds land so that maybe he can prevent God’s Word from taking root in our hearts.

Jesus warns against three types of soil where seeds suffer. Today we will look at the first two.

In Matthew 13:19, there is the soil by the wayside: “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” When our hearts become hardened due to unconfessed sin or bitterness, we lose our sensitivity to God’s voice and our understanding of His Word.

The next type of soil is the shallow soil full of stones: “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time” (Matthew 13:20-21). Fresh converts who are full of joy and wonder over their new faith can quickly fall into old habits when their friends ridicule them. Even longtime believers could be shallow soil if they have failed to mature beyond spiritual infancy.

Prayer: Father, show me if I am one of these types of soil where the seeds of Your Word are not able to take root. And by Your Spirit, make my heart fertile ground for Your Truth that brings joy and freedom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Know Your Real Enemy, Part 6: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing