“Consider carefully what you hear,” Jesus continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (NIV)
This enigmatic observation by Jesus follows the parables of the seeds and the lamp beneath the basket (for nothing is concealed except to come to light -v 22).
“With the measure you use to measure, it will be measured to you” is the literal translation of the phrase. Keep in mind, Jesus’ words are a commentary on the previous parables. He’s suggesting that what you bring to the Word (i.e., what soil you are) is the measure you’re bringing as you measure what you hear.
Do you bring skepticism and doubt?
Expect to go away unfulfilled.
Do you bring inattention and distraction? Are you not really looking for the Lord to speak and to reveal?
Expect to go away with nothing more than your own thoughts.
Do you come hungry, aching for a word from the Lord – searching for direction?
Expect to be filled.
“For to the one who has,” that is, the one with a fertile heart, “more will be given, and the one who does not have,” who does not have a fertile heart ready to receive the seed of the Word, “even what he has will be taken away.”
All that’s to say, how we come to God determines how (or if!) God comes to us. In Jeremiah 29:13 God speaks and says, “You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart.” The negative of this is “You will not find me – I will not come to you – when you seek me half-heartedly.”
Reading the Bible isn’t meant to be a task to check off your daily to-do list. It’s an opportunity for God to break through and speak words of life to you. But whether you experience God or not is determined by the state of your spirit when you pick up the Scriptures.