The third batch of seeds mentioned falls on a patch of soil that has thorns growing there. When they spring up the thorns choke them out.
According to Jesus, the thorns represent the cares of the world. Rent/Mortgage, gas & light bills, school fees, water bills, etc.
Jesus noted that the worries of life crowd out the kingdom of God. We are so busy trying to make life happen that we miss out on true relationship with Him. We have no room for a love affair with God because He doesn’t fit in our busy schedules.
But what are we supposed to do? We have to pay the mortgage, utilities, and school fee. As a matter of fact, baby girl is only attending church school because HE told us to enroll her.
So how do I reconcile His word to send her to school, purchase our home, etc. with the word that says don’t worry about the worries of life? How can I not worry when all these things need to be paid or they will be repossessed, removed, or shut off?
Earlier in the book of Matthew (chapter 6), Jesus admonishes the people that they can’t serve two masters. They can’t seek money and the kingdom of God.
It doesn’t say you can’t seek money instead of, in place of, or primarily before the kingdom of God. It says you can’t seek money in conjunction with seeking the kingdom of God. That’s what the word and means; also, together with, in addition to, along with, as well as, including.
It’s one or the other. They cannot be sought in tandem or simultaneously. That’s a tough word because many of us believe we can do both.
Many of us start out seeking God, but somewhere along the lines in the shuffle of life we end up off track. For instance, I was seeking the opportunity to do fulltime ministry, then all of a sudden I realized Sallie Mae (student loans) is coming for me, and in order to do fulltime ministry my son would need to start church school.
So I created a fulltime ministry opportunity that would generate income so that I could live and do ministry fulltime. It was very small shift, but before long I was more focused on marketing than material. The moment one of my goals became making money (though it was to sustain my life and ministry) it ceased to be solely kingdom building.
God says making disciples, building the kingdom of heaven, and being saved cannot be one of your goals or it will cease to be the goal. You will hate one and love the other. He wants us to view our time here on earth as an opportunity for His glory and kingdom, not that His glory and kingdom would be a by-product or perk of crafting the life we want. He wants our sole desire to be for Him, His work, and the peopel He loves. He wants us to move and breathe and be for Him… not Him and ourselves.
After God tells the people they can’t serve money and God He says something very profound. He tells them how to do it.
“Consider the lilies…” (Matt. 6:28-34)
Jesus keeps trying to help us understand the delicate balance between stewardship and total reliance, between actively living and not getting choked out by the worries of this life.
When God called us to place our daughter in church school, we thought I would get a job as chaplain at a local college. Perfect. I had my life planned out to my kids’ college graduation from said college for free. Lol. I’m serious though.
When I didn’t get the job and hubby believed God was calling us to place baby girl in school anyway, I wondered at God’s mysterious ways.
When I tell you God worked that thing out!! Baby girl is coming up on her last month and half of school and we have never missed a payment or even paid it a little late. Every month when they take the money it is there. No rubber checks. We have even been able to complete early bird registration for next year!
I didn’t get a traditional job. My hubby didn’t get an insane bonus or raise.
I’m still at home with little man, the position from which I was able to write and publish my first book, He Already Put a Ring on It. Purchase
So God found a way to meet the need without my help or worry and blessed me in the process to be able to realize a dream, but only because I was faithful enough to cut the thorns of life off.
These scriptures are so intertwined. Jesus speaks of seeds being planted that they might grow up to be beautiful flowers or delicious fruit perhaps. He warns us about the ways in which our seeds may never get to grow or bear any fruit. He tells us that the cares of the world can choke us out.
If that’s all He said it wouldn’t have been enough. It would have been a cautionary tale, but not preventive medicine. By telling us to consider the lilies, He tells us how to prevent being choked out. He says, “You worry about doing what I made you to do, and I’ll worry about your food, shelter, and clothing. Let me take care of the worries of this life so you can focus on kingdom business.”
When we worry, we tell God that He can’t. That’s when the enemy sneaks in to choke us out; when we stop believing.
Our worry can’t add blessings to us, yet it can choke the eternal life out of us, so why do we do it so readily? Why do we allow the worries of this life to take the peace that God is always trying to breathe in us?
Break the chokehold with faith today. Believe that you are more valuable to God than a bird or a lily. Be still and know that He will take care of you. Don’t let the enemy take your ability to breathe God in because you are so worried about how you will survive.
Leave your life in His hands and just… breathe!