Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19
We are told three things that make the word of God unfruitful in a person’s life, the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things. These three things will choke a person’s spiritual life and make it unfruitful.
We may meet Christians who have experienced spiritual rebirth but seem no different to our unbelieving friends. They worry instead of trusting God, they chase after wealth forgetting its temporal nature and are never satisfied with their circumstances. Although they have committed themselves to God they have become distracted by worldly concerns.
God has provided many ways to focus on him and not allow distractions to choke our spiritual lives —meeting together with like-minded believers at church or in small groups, studying God’s word and praying. Singing worshipful songs reminds us of God’s attributes, taking communion reminds us of God’s love and grace and listening to spiritual talks encourage us to grow spiritually.
However, completing spiritual disciplines isn’t enough. The biggest challenge is our thoughts and attitudes. Unless we are prepared to change our focus from what we are lacking and direct our attention to the many blessings we already have, even abundant spiritual nourishment won’t make any significant difference. We see this so clearly with the Israelites in the wilderness who wouldn’t give up their grumbling, complaining ways. When they experienced God’s supernatural provision it had no effect on their level of faith.
If we desire to be spiritually fruitful our focus must continually be on God’s unmerited love and goodness towards us, which is amazing grace.