When in the flesh, we were conditioned by darkness. We were enslaved to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of this life. We inherited habits and natures of the sinful life. As sinners our hearts were blinded, and we were given to worldliness. In Christ, God has called us to put on the new man in Christ Jesus.
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” Ephesians 4:18, 22
Who is the thorny hearted believer? He is a believer, but loves money more than Jesus. Many Christians do not realise they are stuck in this state. He goes to church, gives his tithes, and is accepted of all people. He lacks the devotion and zeal that pleases God because his mind and heart is sold to another god – Money. The power and honour that money brings him, is quicker to achieve and much more satisfying to him. He is naturally inclined to building an empire on the earth rather than truly seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). He is deceived into a nominal Christianity, desiring a reputation and name built on his hard labour and ability.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 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 4:7,18,19)
King Solomon was the wisest and the richest king in the Old Testament. When God asked him what he wanted, he desired wisdom to serve God’s people. God was pleased with him. What do we see in the end? He began to please his wives and started to serve other gods too. He gave in to the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. God was displeased with King Solomon.
Another insight to consider is, when we look at the difference in the number of years he took to build his own house versus God’s temple. He spent more time (13 years) to build his own and only 7 years for the house of God. His priorities served himself well. On the other hand, David, his father, loved God dearly. God testifies about David as a man with a perfect heart because David stayed faithful till the very end, desiring God above all else.
Those who love their wealth and pleasures of the earth cannot follow God. We read in Matthew 19:22, a young man refused to sell all that he had to follow Jesus because he loved his great many possessions. Those who love the world, the love of the father is not in them.
Are you stuck between making that ONE choice in life? Between Jesus or Money? I encourage you to live for Christ, as a believer who is already saved. Whatever bears thorns is eventually cursed and thrown into the fire.
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)
Money gives us powers and abilities we always desired to have as life unfolds before us. When we use our own abilities to make money, it tempts us to grow further and higher. We begin to worship the idol of Self. God makes the rich and the poor (1 Samuel 2:7). When we try to be what God does not want us to be, we end up becoming victims of our own desires.
Most are unable to understand the power of money and how it can affect their spiritual lifestyle. It isn’t about having lot’s of money. It is about giving into the power of doing something you know you can, without God’s knowledge or approval. If earlier you couldn’t buy something because of the lack of money, you would pray about it, seek God’s will. Now that you have money you go ahead because you can, you don’t feel the need to check with God.
The danger with loving money is that it adds convenience and comforts that can be harmful to the soul. It’s deceitful. Earlier, we would be content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8); now we begin to desire more. It’s the natural human condition. Sinful, old man’s natures. “What’s the harm?” we often say or think and go ahead with life. Only to find out later that we would have been better off without it.
Anything that threatens your 100% love for Jesus is a thorn – it could be good or bad. God is seeking hearts full of love for Him alone. No person or thing should take precedence over Jesus.
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
The words of Jesus sound harsh? It isn’t, because He’s got our back. We need to learn to trust in Him alone. We need to learn to put aside everything that pulls us away from being wholly devoted to Jesus. Only when we are ready to lose all for Him, can we truly say we love Him with all our heart.