The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. - Matthew 13:22
This verse really hit home with me today. Talk about conviction!
I have heard and received God's word. I love Him with all that I am and all that I have!
But how easily do the worries of this life crowd out the message? Oh, much too easily!
How quickly am I distracted by the lure of wealth? Financial stability is a constant worry of mine.
The bible likens these fears to thorns. When a thorny plant grows, it is difficult to prune without getting hurt! It's often easier to just leave it alone and let it grow. We all know that without proper pruning, the plant will no longer flower properly and can grow wild and out of control! The thorny plants are weeds that take over the nutrients in soil, stealing them from the plants you want to nurture. In this way, they become the only thing growing in the area. In fact, if they're not carefully uprooted, shoots will spring up again and again from bits of root cuttings that were left behind. They are tenacious!
Sounds a lot like worry, right? The scriptures also tell us how to combat these thorny worries.
Let's take these answers one day at a time, okay?
Our verse to focus on today is this:
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them. - Proverbs 22:5
We are to guard ourselves, our very souls, from these thorns. When I think of being on guard, one passage comes to mind.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. - Ephesians 6:10-18
Today, when you dress, make a point of thinking of each piece of clothing as a spiritual armor. Wear a belt of some kind. Put shoes on your feet. Pray and picture yourself holding up your shield of faith. Wear a physical head covering today, to remind yourself of your salvation. Carry your sword with you wherever you go.
For the next few days, we will be looking at ways to combat those thorns in our fertile ground.
Heavenly King, I love how the bible doesn't just present the problem in our lives, but it fully explains how to begin to make real changes. Of course none of those are possible without You, and we are so grateful for Your patience and for Your presence. We love you. In Jesus' Name, Amen...
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May God Bless You,