Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:24-30
What catches my eye as I read this story today, is the fact that not only had the man sowed seed in his field, but so had an enemy. God places people in our lives but the enemy places people in our lives too. Much prayer is needed to tell the difference. As a Bible Worker, I have learned over the years, that while God places people in my path who really need me, that Satan will also place people in my path just to waste my time, and keep me from the people who really want my help. This is where we need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. How can one tell the difference? In Matthew 5:6 Jesus has a blessing for those who are hungry. I have learned that I cannot make people hungry for the gospel. So I look for those who God is making hungry and I minister to them, while I continue to pray for and befriend those whom God has not been able to make hungry yet. Jesus did the same thing. In John 5:17 Jesus says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Jesus worked with people whom His Father was already working with. I have seen too often, those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, left to starve, while the church goes out trying to entertain people who are not even interested in spiritual things. We have an obligation to those who do not care about spiritual things, but not at the expense of those who already have a desire to be taught the Word of God.