Who among us can thrive, let alone breathe, while being choked to death?
Anxieties have a way of choking us and pulling us relentlessly in other directions. They slow us down and prevent us from reaching the King's Highway. "Thorns" have a way of garnering our attention by demanding our eyes and ears. And we, as sentient believers, unwittingly elevate our worries.
If we are not careful, each concern will take a seat upon a throne in our heart. And to call it a spade: this is idolatry.
In Jesus' parable of the sower from the book of Mark 4, Jesus explains to His disciples that there are four types of people:
1. those who hear the word and never receive it because immediately Satan plucks it away
2. those who hear the word and receive it, but with no root, it withers
3. those who hear the word and receive it, but the worries of this world choke it out
4. those who hear the word, receive and accept it, and then produce
Do you suppose God's love is this way, too? Some of us catch fleeting glimpses of God's love but are never saved. Some receive God's love with gladness, but this love doesn't take hold in their hearts and eventually it withers away. Others receive His love, but His love competes with worries and concerns and it never bears fruit. Still others receive and fully accept His love--in this way they are able to persevere and abundantly produce.
When we elevate the "thorns" in our lives, we will never run the race within the abundance of His love and by His power, nor will we be productive for His kingdom. What do thorns look like?
But how do we eliminate the thorns so that we might live and grow and produce? I have found at least one remedy: Instead of elevating our anxieties and worries and bowing down beneath the weight of them, we must learn to grab hold of them, yank them up root and all, and cast them directly upon Christ (1 Pet. 5:7). Our "good soil" hearts prepare Him room.
What could possibly motivate us to do this? Undeterred belief in and acceptance of God's love for us. We elevate God's love for us higher than absolutely anything else in our heart. We take hold of this truth, and we don't let go. When we elevate God, we are drawn higher ourselves and our focus changes.
In Part 4, let's maneuver full speed ahead onto the King's Autobahn, and let's learn how to "do life" there completely saturated by God's unbridled love for us.
A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for merizō (Strong's 3307)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 10 Aug 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?
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