When God moves in revival, our lives are changed. Every true encounter with God leaves us changed. Think of Isaiah, who became a compelling prophet after His vision of God or Peter who became a bold and brave witness. Perhaps the most radical change was in Saul who had persecuted the church with great zeal before encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus. Only that divine encounter could have changed him into a mission-minded man!

God changes people ultimately to make them more fruitful (see John 15). His word is powerful and is described as seed in the Parable of the Sower. What affects growth is not the seed or the sower but the soil. The hard ground was compressed soil which came about because of being on a well-walked path. The compacted soil meant no seed could penetrate it and the birds of the air snatched the seed away.

Shallow soil on rocky ground reflects those who make an immeditate, emotional response to Jesus but fall away quickly. Soil that is cluttered with thorns and weeds reflects how easily our hearts can be distracted by worldly concerns and fears. We need our heart soil to be changed into good soil (which bears much fruit) if we are to see revival. What God wants from us is the ready response of a softened heart, not resistance to change.