The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) has been speaking to me about strongholds in thinking. In this parable Jesus is talking about the four different things that can happen to people when they hear about his Kingdom. He illustrates each type of person by a seed and whether it grows to a healthy plant:
- The seed does not grow, like a seed sown on a path: the Kingdom of God is not understood or is dismissed (v18-19);
- The seed produces a plant that shoots up but then dies, like a seed planted on rocky ground: at first the good news is received with joy but then the person drifts away when life becomes difficult and they face trouble or persecution (v20-21);
- The seed produces a plant but in an area with thorns and these restrict the plant: the person accepts Christ but as it says in the passage, ‘the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful’ (v22);
- The seed produces a healthy plant like one sown in good soil; the person accepts Christ and produces a crop (v23). Or as it is put elsewhere in the Bible, they bear fruit, as Galatians 5:22 shows what character fruit looks like: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.’
I want to focus on the seed that falls on the area with thorns. When I am anxious about something or I get obsessed with where I am financially it is a blockage for me when interacting with God and bearing fruit as a Christian. I am dealing with this right now, I am asking God to forgive me for removing my focus from him and instead on to my circumstances. I am asking him to help me re-focus on him and trust him. This is not easy but recognising I have something to deal with is the first step to dealing with it. I want to know and walk with God each and every day, I also want to bear fruit for him. So my challenge to you is: do you need to surrender either a worry of life or a fixation with your finances to God today?