Living among thorns

I was reading in the book of Mark the parable of the sower who sowed seed. Among the 4 conditions Jesus used to illustrate the heart of man, the thorny ground is what caught my attention.

In chapter 4:18,19 Jesus says, “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.”

I think I’ve been living in a thorn bush.  I allow the cares of this world to distract me from the Word of God. The cares of this world lately have been getting sidetracked with pointless arguments in social media.

My inner Troll loves to live among thorns.

Social media has allowed me to be bold behind my keyboard and offer comments that if I stop and am honest, do little to glorify Christ. Does the time given to Facebook arguments give me a return on my investment? I once wrote in my Bible way back in the 80’s “Can I kill time without injuring eternity?” I find that I have energy late into the night when I am defending my position politically yet have no energy to read the Word of God so I can defend my faith.

Can I kill time without injuring eternity?

Another thorn is the deceitfulness of riches. I don’t need vast amounts of money to notice a pattern in my life. When I have more month than money, I am awake with worry and alert to cry out to the Lord to help in those last few days of any, particularly difficult month. What happens after payday? Am I lulled back to sleep in the comfort of knowing my bills are paid and I am free of worry? Am I deceived into thinking that any financial extra blessing is just to increase my quality of life when perhaps it’s not the living but the giving that God wants me to increase?

Ouch. That thorn pokes me.

The last one Jesus brings up is interesting. “and the lusts of other things entering in.” Hmm, that can be a lot of things. Lust is a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, admiration, fame, money or power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food.

What is the “desire of other things entering in.”? Entering in where? My heart?

Am I distracted from the Word sown into my heart because I am consumed by this worlds unrealistic expectations that we maintain eternal youth and beauty?

Any sisters out there know what I mean. Can I photoshop my life so I can feel that I have worth and the approval of this world?

These things choke the word within me and it becomes unfruitful.

In Hosea 10:1 it says in the King James Version, that “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars.”

An empty vine that brings forth fruit unto himself. If I bear fruit in my life that is only for myself, I am empty.  To me, that is a good description of living among thorns.

I think its time that I pack my bags and move out of the thorn bush. Even if I lived among roses, the thorns would still hurt.

I pray Lord that I may have ears to hear what your Word says so that it may find good soil and bear fruit to bless all around me. Show me the strategy of my enemy to choke out your word in my heart. Open my eyes to self-deception that it does not have dominion over me. Help me to know that my worth is in you and not in this world.  Show me the thorns in my life that hurt me and in turn, hurt others and my walk with you. In the name that is above all names, Jesus. I ask.

Blessings

Natalie

 

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