The devil is in the detail

Anyone who has gone to Sunday school or read any Bible stories would have come across the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. It is a story that Jesus told about a man who was sowing seed. He throws it everywhere hoping it would grow. He throws it on good soil, in weeds, on gravel and on the road. The seed started to grow on the gravel but died because of lack of roots. The seed on the road was eaten by birds. The seed in with the weeds grew, but it was choked by the other plants. And the seed in the good soil grew and was successful.

I was reminded of this parable this past week. Specifically, the seed landing on the weeds. The seed grows but is choked by the other plants. Recently, I have felt a little bit like this. Growing, but not thriving. Living, but not alive. Nothing major has happened, my life is still very good and I am very blessed, I love God and I love my church and I have no big issue that is keeping me ‘choked’.

But that is just it……there is no big issue. If the devil wants to pull me away, he couldn’t do it with an affair because I’d see that coming and run a mile. Or an alcohol problem, or porn, or drugs. They are big things that I would see and that I stay well away from. But the old phrase of ‘the devil is in the detail’ rings true. He is in the small detail that I may not even notice. He is in the fact that I missed church 3 weeks in a row because I was away helping / visiting family. He is in the fact that work got increasing more difficult and more time consuming. He is in the fact that life simply took over.

This was recognised quickly when my wife said “you’ve lost your joy”. Always a sure sign that something isn’t quite aligned in my life. And it was quickly fixed by some quality time seeking God and doing things that alight my soul (reading, writing, running, climbing). But it is not always so quickly fixed for many.

I have seen many people, especially men, get choked by life. Good people with a great passion for Jesus. People who were all in; until they left. Until the devil was allowed to attack the small details of their lives and slowly, piece by piece, bit by bit, rip them away from God, away from church and away from the glue that holds their life together. It is very, very sad, and it happens far too often. You may know people who this has happened too. It may have happened to you.

So where do you go from here…

You fight for it. You find God again. You reconnect with Him through His presence, through worship, through the Bible, through those friendships that you knew where vital for you, through a local church, through doing things that bring you to life.

The parable about the sower ends with Jesus saying that the seed that grew in the good soil produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams. That sounds like something worth fighting for.

It won’t take a lot to re-connect you again. God isn’t that far away.

Much love. Rob

Rob Harvie Written by:


  1. Nick Franks
    30th March 2016

    Great post brother Bob! I like the balance you have here of vulnerability and appropriateness. It’s amazing that God’s in these details too, smashing the devil even when it appears that he’s smashing it.

    • robbieharvie
      30th March 2016

      Thanks mate. It can become so easy to be pulled away by nothing: busyness, stuff, routine. God is never far away so it’s easy to re-connect. Really chuffed you liked it. Bless you brother! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *