There are many of us who are struggling to live a Christian lifestyle. We go to church, pray, read our Bible (sometimes), and yet we find ourselves not really growing spiritually, or producing any good fruit in our lives. For some, we keep slipping back into our same ole sinful habits. What could be the cause of this?
I submit to you all that one cause could be a heart issue. Here’s what I mean. There is a parable in Luke 8:11-15, called the Parable of the Sower. In the parable, the seed is the Word of God, the soil/ground is our heart. Jesus explains to us that there are four types of soil (hearts) that the seed is planted in; wastewisde, rocky, thorny and good.I want to focus on the thorny ground, because I truly believe that many of us have this type of heart. When the Word of God is sown in a thorny heart, the Word doesn’t survive because it is CHOKED out of the heart. Why? Luke 8:14 tells us that the cares of this world, the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, choke the Word out. That is, although we hear the Word at church, once we return to “living” our hearts and minds are preoccupied with the things of this world; jobs, family, money, relationships, marriages, and the pleasures of life. We worry, stress, and seek after these things so much, until the Word is choked out of us. What happens when the Word is choked out? We don’t produce any good, godly fruit in our lives. We can’t remember what God says in His Word because it is choked out, we fall into sin, we start idolizing the things and people in our lives, and eventually we stop dealing with God all together.
Is there anything in your life that is choking out the Word of God out of your heart? What are you stressing and worrying about? What are you spending your time and energy on? What or who are you chasing that is causing you to focus on it/them rather than God? Are there any idols in your life that is choking out the Word? I want to encourage us all to really examine our lives, our hearts. We must be honest with ourselves and with God. If there is anything or anyone that is coming before Him, including family, friends, work, etc., then we must surrender ALL to Him. God will not tolerate 2nd or 3rd place in our lives. He must be first. If HE is not first place in your life, confess your sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).