Firstly, thanks for your patience in waiting for part IV of our series on the Sower Sows the Word. I know I said I would be able to continue tomorrow and that was about ten days ago, however, we went to Wales for Christmas and New Year and did not really have access the internet.
But the issue of dealing with the thorns that choke the Word of God is vitally important at this time of the year. As people make New Year’s Resolutions, they normally make the mistake of trying to succeed in the flesh with willpower.
Realizing the truth of the Sower Sows the Word means that you are going to understand how to make choices that lead to permanent and effortless change.
Let’s use weight and diet as an example, as most New Year Resolutions are based on this. Not only that, I want to lose weight this year – and these are the principles I will be using myself.
In the world, what we do is make a pledge to lose a certain amount, or give up cakes, or stick to a diet. We then use all f our willpower to resist what we have decided to give up, and we inevitably fail. Just like the person told not to think of an elephant, the first thing that comes into our mind whenever we have a free moment is the very thing we want to give up. It is only the third of January, but I believe entirely that there will be people reading this who have already broken their resolutions.
However, Jesus does not leave us in condemnation or fighting the calories, or the smoking, or the pornography, or the anger in our flesh. He gives us the Word. When we sow the Word of God in our heart, there will be a harvest.
If we sow words of purity and love and freedom into our heart, and speak the Word over ourself, then we will have a harvest of purity, love and freedom. We will not be struggling in the flesh, in condemnation and feeling like death all the time – we can have the joy of victory.
Mark 11.24 says that you can have what you say. Rather than say “I am never going to make it, I am never going to win.” say “I am free from this, I am alive to God, I am more than a conqueror.” Say it again and again. We have in previous articles on the Sower Sows the Word spoke about meditating on the Word and how to put the Word in your heart. This is the key to change. Filling your mind with the Word will lead to victory.
But sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. We meditate on the Word and we feel great, but then it doesn’t seem to produce results. It doesn’t seem to change our lifestyle, or bring the peace, the prosperity or the healing we are expecting.
Well, one of the main reasons this is the case is due to the thorns. Mark 4.7 says:
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
I am sure that like me you have felt at times that even though you know the Word, are meditating on the Word and speaking the Word, you feel choked and unfruitful. You feel that it just isn’t going right for you, and you can’t seem to get it right. If that is you, rejoice! The solution is in the Bible:
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. – Mark 4.18,19
We are choked by three things:
1. The cares of this world
2. The deceitfulness of riches
3. The lusts of other things
If you can remove these three things from your heart then the Word will NEVER be choked again. Do you understand – you will never be unfruitful again. You will always bear fruit. You will ask and receive, you will walk in victory.
In the next two posts I want to look at 2 and 3. I might decide to spend several posts on the deceitfulness of riches, because this is one of the biggest issues in the church today.
However, for now I want to deal with the cares of this world. Most Christians have had the word of God choked due to the cares of this world.
The word used for cares in this verse is merimna which literally means different directions. The world tries to distract you by drawing you in different directions.
We go to church, hear a great sermon on the power of God to heal and we are focused and ready to receive. But the world distracts us by leading us in different directions: try medicine, try acupunture, try panicking, try anything. These distractions choke the Word and stop it working.
Or in the instance of New Year Resolutions. The Word says you change by changing your heart by what you hear. So you need to speak out and say “I am only going to eat what I need, I am in control of my appetites, my god is not my belly, my God is the Lord Jesus Christ.” But the world distracts you – you need to try Slimfast, this pill, this diet, this fad, that strategy, and the thorns will choke out the Word.
The sooner we realize that the Word of God plus something leads to nothing, but the Word of God only leads to something the more successful we will be.
Do not let the world distract you and lead you in many directions this year – choose one direction: the direction of the Word of God. If you do not know the direction of the Word then go and read it until you see its direction to you and then obey it. The Word will keep you right and bring a harvest of peace and freedom. The world will lead you back into the same world of hurt and confusion you have been in before.
Often one of the distractions of the world is impatience. The Word will grow, but sometimes it does not happen instantly. Do not let the world pressure you into a get-rich-quick or a get-slim-quick scheme, you will be conned. Let the Word have its perfect work in you…
It is your choice – choose life!