Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Wheat and the Cheats

“An enemy has done this…”

Have you ever had a thought like that? Suddenly facing a trial you weren’t expecting, getting a bad report out of the blue, hearing news that was unsettling — as a Christian, your immediate thought is: “This isn’t God. The enemy is behind this.”

Jesus actually said this to his disciples in a parable:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who 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 grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn (Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV).”

Jesus was talking about people and end times. I heard someone once call this story of the wheat and the tares as the “Wheat and the Cheats.” In fact, the Amplified Bible uses the wording, “weeds resembling wheat” to illustrate the difficulty in knowing the difference between the real and false.

The wheat represents the good, those saved, belonging to their Father God. The cheats represent those who on the outside look like the wheat, but who have never given their heart to Jesus. Interestingly, if we literally study wheat, we find that when wheat is full-grown, the stalk bows down from the weight of grain. This is one sure way to know the difference between the wheat and the cheats, by who bows down. This is also why it will be easy for the reapers to recognize the cheats.

But if we step back and look at this parable, not just from the perspective of people, but from the perspective of intent, we can see God’s frustration: “An enemy has done this.”

From the fall of Adam to the trial you may be facing today, the enemy hasn’t changed. In fact, referring to the enemy’s deception, Paul said,

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14 NKJV).

This is pure deception when darkness can disguise as light.

Yet, those filled with the Spirit of God can know the difference — in life, in trials, in people, in everything. The more of God’s word we water and cultivate in our heart and the more time we spend in prayer drawing close to the Holy Spirit, the easier it will be to see the enemy’s activity.

But that’s not all. Jesus illustrated in His parable that the farmer was not worried. When the workers wanted to know if they should do something, He casually replied, “No, lest you uproot the work of God” (my paraphrase).

I’m not insinuating the devil should have free rein in our life to do whatever he wishes. Jesus told us to use our authority and resist the enemy. My point is that we don't have to fear when facing a trial. Instead, we remember the story of the wheat and the cheats and like the farmer, remain calm and assured our Father will take care of everything in time.

Copyright © 2020 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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