THE HEART CONDITION – 3
by Gbile Akanni
The Entangled Heart
“ 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”(Mk.4:7;18-19)
Next in the parable is the seed that fell among thorns (which I have chosen to tag “the entangled heart”). This is a very real condition of several hearts in our midst today. This is the kind of person who listens to the Word, gets the truth, gets an understanding and gets a deep insight into the word. He could even have the revelation knowledge of that Word. There is no reason for the word not to affect him; in fact there is no reason for it not to grow. It actually started to grow and to take root. So, the problem of this heart is not that it had no thought or conviction as is the case with the superficial heart. The entangled heart has deepness of soil. It has enough moisture and manure to make the Word take root and prosper. But something else comes along the line to choke the word of God in his heart. Let us consider what the bible says about this heart condition.
“…Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” (Jer. 4:3)
The picture the Lord is showing to us about this heart is quite apparent. It is a ground that is not cleared. It is still a fallow untilled soil. Normally, there is no vacuum in nature; hence there is no heart that is naturally vacant. Every heart (once not cultivated), grows weeds and thorns. So, thorns, in this scripture refer to things that normally occupy the human heart – the common things that everyone thinks about or seeks to have in this life. They utilise the same manure to grow as the real seed. They also need to be embedded in the soil. I.e. they also need some deep thoughts to thrive upon. What are these thorns? Jesus told us that they are: “The cares of this age”, “the worries of the world system”, “the deceitfulness of riches” and “the lusts of other things” (MK.4: 19)
Let us consider closely these things.
- Cares of this age
What are the cares of this age? I believe the answer is clearly outlined for us in scriptures
“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so cloth the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought what shall we eat or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the gentiles seek:) for your heavenly father knows that ye have need of all these things.’. (Matt. 6:25-32)
“Take no thought for your life,”
That is the number one thorn. Yet it looks so reasonable and convenient to think about your life, about your welfare, about your personality, your body; your house and your future. You may even ask,” if not why not.” Every thought you take about your life, for instance about what you shall eat; or what you shall drink is but a waste. It does not add anything to your welfare. Rather it actually reduces your strength for effectiveness. These are things that God in his infinite love has undertaken to provide. He does it for common birds and grasses of the field; why must you waste your thoughts and your resourcefulness on these cares. Every care about these things is a waste and a thorn that chokes and strangulates God’s seed in a man’s life. The seed of victory, the seed of divine health that when fully grown will fill your life with all good things and all the virtues of the divine nature, is strangulated by this “care of this age”.
Several men are poor today spiritually, not because they do not know the truth in God’s word, but their worries and cares never allow them to allow God’s Word to produce any permanent fruit in their lives. Break up your fallow ground; clear up the thorns and you will be fruitful. Look at this scripture again:
“…the cares of this world system, and the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.”
Note carefully “the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things …” Sit down and look at your heart. Do you nurse several ambitions? What are the other things that you consume your desire, your emotion, and your thoughts upon?
Are you that man, who knows exactly what the will of God is? Every time you hear the word of God, your heart is touched and you know that this is what you are supposed to be doing; this is how you are supposed to be living; this is what your heart desires, but at the same time you want to make a place in the world system. You also want to keep rank with the things of the world. You want to keep in step with the world system. God is clearly pointing out to you today that these two cannot go together. The cares of this world, is like a weed, it is like a thorn planted around the seed of the word of God in your life. It will choke it up.
One thing you must note is that the things of this world, the things of the flesh and of the sinful nature do not need any fertilizer to grow. Whereas correct seed needs to be fertilized with prayer, fasting and much study before it will grow and produce, a weed does not. This is why the cares of the world, the little worries of the world, the things the world system is running after will not need any tending before they grow up and strangulate the word of God in your life. Have you heard the word of God and just when you want to go ahead to obey it, you turned around only to discover that your colleagues are building houses, wearing new clothes and shoes. So you felt that you must run around and pursue what they are pursuing. Is that not why you do not have the time to pray or study the word of God or even act on the word of God you have heard? Do you realise this means that you do not have time to prepare for eternity?
Are you fond of procrastination? Do you keep postponing all your decisions and all your consecration to God? You keep saying you will do it next time, God understands. Has it not taken several years since you gave your life to Jesus and there is no fruit or anything to show that Jesus came into your life a long time ago? Are you not always beginning again; always starting from square one. Why? It is because the “cares of this life” are choking up your heart and your thoughts. That is why you are unable to settle down. God may have shown you visions or dreams about your life. You know that the call of God is upon your life; but the cares of this world, the worries of the times have not allowed you to settle down and develop the grace of God on your life. You have ever remained shallow, you have ever remained empty, and you have ever remained barren, because all the nutrients of God are being used up by weeds. They are being used up by the thorns which have come to make sure that you have no fruit. But let me tell you friend, this world is passing away. No matter what you amass in this world, the bible says “naked did we come into this world and it is certain that we can take nothing out” (Job 1:21, Ps. 49:17). There is nothing you can carry out of this world. All that you are running about for at the moment will end here. As soon as death knocks on your door, you must give them up. You cannot hold anything in death. All must go.
As you are wasting your life, you are growing old my friend. The opportunities you have to bear fruit for eternity are reducing with every passing day. The things you are running around and clamouring for cannot follow you to the grave.
All those friends that you are afraid of losing if you were to face the word of God seriously will not follow you beyond the grave. It is at that point you will realize that you have spent your life for that which is useless and have spent your opportunities for a better eternity for that which you cannot talk about, or carry along with you yonder. Some men are in hell already regretting. They heard the message quite alright as you are hearing, but they did not make use of it. Do not be one of them.
The word of God says “Cast your cares upon him for he cares most affectionately for you” (1 Pet 5: 7). In Mat.6 25 – 32 the Lord Jesus Christ teaches that you should take no thought about yourself, what you shall eat, what you shall drink or what you shall put on, for you heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things; but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing will be added to you! Why spend a whole life time running after shadows, when God could have given you a better supply of all your needs; if you were to place Him first in your life.
This particular kind of heart is the most pitiful heart among all we have been considering. It is a heart that knows the truth and has opportunity to grow, but cannot, because it allows itself to be crowded up by the world’s expectations. If you are running around the ideas of men, forgetting the purpose, the will and calling of God for your life, it is not right. God has a destiny and a plan for you. He said “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29: 11). When will you settle down to pursue the very reason why you were born again, if you have been born again? My friend, when will you settle down to prepare for eternity? Jacob was a man with great expectations of God on his life, but he decided to pursue the things of the world first. He decided to run for cattle. His father had a lot of cattle at home, but he was still struggling for cattle. He was still struggling for nonentities and after twenty one years, all together making sixty one years of his life, he woke up to reality and asked himself when he shall prepare for his home. He was a stranger at Haran. He had his father’s home to go. Do you know you are a stranger here on earth? I ask you my friend, when will you prepare for your eternal home? When will you get ready to meet and face God?
Look at something else that the word of God said comes to choke up the word:
“And the deceitfulness of riches”
How many friends, how many Christian brothers and sisters are being deceived? They just think that if they can make money, everything will be okay. Can you ask men around you that have money whether everything has become okay with them? A lot of them are not able to sleep. My friend, did you leave the word of God in pursuit of money? You do not have time again to attend church, to study the word of God or even to attend to your children. You go everywhere, leaving your children loose and they are now rebelling against you. It is almost too late to remedy the situation around you. You know that if you die now, there is no responsible child of yours that can take over from you. Why? You mismanaged your life and your time. God’s word tells us
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that will be (i.e. want to be) rich fall into temptations and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”(1 Tim 6:7- 10)
Have you fallen into this trap? Are you pierced through with many sorrows and disappointments already? Do you have a lot of hurt within your mind already? Come back to Jesus, He will give you rest. We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we will carry nothing out. Why destroy your eternity in a short time?
Finally He said,
“and the desires for other things”.
What are you desiring apart from Jesus, apart from the word of God, apart from the will and purpose of God? Look into your heart. Are you so crowded up? Uproot all these weeds and ask the Lord Jesus to deliver you. Make a fresh choice today. Seek first the kingdom, putting behind you all cares and worries. Do this one thing and you will have a home in eternity; yet all these things shall be added unto you here on earth.
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