Mark 4 gives us the parable of the sower and the seed. In verses 18 and 19, we read the meaning of what happens to the seed that fell among the thorns. “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
Does this describe me? I’m afraid that it feels that way sometimes. When the Word of God is not producing fruit in my life, it’s often because I’m allowing it to be choked out.
Here’s what the verse says chokes out the seed of God’s Word.
1. The cares of the world. There are many of these in our lives, aren’t there? This can be the day-to-day tasks that we must accomplish – the cooking, cleaning, errands, homeschooling – all good and necessary, but not to the detriment of reading and meditating on the Bible. We could also include bigger cares – stresses and worries that we can’t control, but that we allow to take over our thoughts and minds.
2. Deceitfulness of riches. This reminds me of materialism. When our focus is on making money or accumulating possessions, we can ignore the necessity of grounding ourselves in God’s Word. If we think that being rich or buying what we want will make us happy, we are deceived. However, it’s easy to get caught up in work and achieving success and allow our spiritual life to suffer.
3. Lusts of other things. Certain accomplishments for ourselves or our children, sports, hobbies, physical fitness – the list of things that can distract us from God’s Word can be quite long. These are things that may not be wrong unless we allow them to choke out God’s Word in our lives.
I struggle with all of the above at times, and I need to yield to the Holy Spirit and ask for His help in rooting out the thorns so that the seed of His Word can produce fruit in my life.