Beyond These Walls: Here We Go! Week 1 Devotional Day 4
DAY 4 – Thursday
Mark 4:4, 15; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
What characterizes a person who is the soil along “the path”? What does this look like in everyday life?
How does one practically “resist” the devil in his/her life?
Reflect – The Soils (Part 1): The Path
In these verses of the Parable of the Soils, we are introduced to the first of four soils: “the path.” This is the first of the three soils that are not “good” from Jesus’ point of view—they represent people who do not receive or live out Jesus’ message.
Along with each of these three soils, we are introduced to what many have termed the “three enemies of the soul.” These three enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—have been acknowledged for centuries by notable Christians, such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross. These enemies work to keep non-Christians in a state of unbelief and disobedience, and to pull Christians away from belief and obedience.
The soil of the path represents those who reject Jesus’ message altogether. The reason for this is their lack of spiritual receptivity and Satan’s stealing the word away. Satan is pictured as a bird that, when the seed of the word is tossed, quickly swoops in to gobble it up. In all of our lives, Satan seeks to cultivate indifference to God’s ways; to pull us away from God toward lesser things; and to steal God’s abundant life from us.
The only way we can be freed from Satan’s control is for the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, to turn us away from sin toward Jesus Christ. But this isn’t a one-time event. We are called to consistently resist Satan, firm in our faith. This first soil shows us the person we don’t want to become—one who is resistant to God’s word and open to Satan’s work. As Christians, we want to be the opposite! May God give us grace to resist Satan and open our hearts to God’s word daily.
 I’m indebted to the teachings of Ken Boa for the thoughts I present in this devotional guide on the three enemies of the soul.