The Discipleship Of The Believer

As we grow in our walk, we find that there are “currents” that will arise that try to take us out and away from God so that we stumble. What keeps us steady and on track, is the Word of God.

Mark 4:7 – “And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. (Verse 18) “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, (Verse 19) “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Jesus describes this attack as thorns. This group of people are learning and growing in the Lord, but Jesus said thorns choke the word. What are thorns representing in this passage?

We know from the previous teaching on Symbols that, scorpions and serpents represent demonic forces, but here is a passage that has scorpions and thorns: Ezekiel 2:3 – And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this day. (Verse 4) “For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God,’ (Verse 5) “As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse – for they are a rebellious house – yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. (Verse 6) “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 

The thorns represent the enemy and we see plainly that rebellion against God causes the enemy to enter a person’s life. Demonic spirits are messengers of Satan. Look what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:7 – And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a “thorn” in the flesh was given me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Paul was not rebellious against God, but because God was going to use him in such a mighty way, a “thorn” was allowed to stay to keep Paul from a spirit of pride. Pride and arrogance is also a type of rebellion against God though.

So, right there in Scripture, “thorn” is a messenger of Satan. When people don’t understand the “types” and shadows” in Scripture, they have a hard time getting the true meaning. The Bible will define itself.

Let me show you another Scripture on thorns, but keep in mind that the Promise Land does not represent heaven. There were still enemies in the Promise Land the Hebrews had to overcome. The Promise Land represents the “Christian Life!” And, if you drive the enemy out, you can live where God wants you to live.

Numbers 33:55 – ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. (How clear is that?)

So what areas did Jesus tell us in Mark 4, where the thorns will choke out the word?

The Cares Of This World

1 Peter 5:7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. We were not designed to carry burdens. God calls us sheep in Scripture and sheep are not “burden bearing” animals. What we are supposed to do is lay our burdens at the feet of the Shepherd! Too many lay them, but walk away and pick them back up. We are not to pick them back up and begin to worry about them again. When we lay them at His feet, leave it there and stop talking about it and getting yourself worked up. If you are doing that, then you have never really let it go. 

The Deceitfulness of Riches

1 Timothy 6:17 – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

He’s not talking about millionaire or billionaire rich. If a person makes 40,000 a year, they are in the 1% of the world richest. When it says, “Command those who are rich,” that is most Americans, compared to the rest of the world. Visit another country and compare what they lack and what we as Americans have at our fingertips.

Then he says, “Do not trust in riches: 1 Timothy 6:9 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (Verse 10) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

In other words; Don’t trust in money; don’t desire money; and don’t love money. He’s talking about a “heart issue.” Why? Because we are supposed to trust, desire, and love God. Money can become an idol to some. If we think about it, money will promise what only God can give us. Money is always trying to take the place of God, if we let it. That’s why Jesus told us we can’t serve two masters, man and money.

The deceitfulness of riches is thinking: “I either need God to come through in my finances, or I need somebody to give me some money!” God knows our needs before we ever open our mouth. However, if we have not been a good steward over what He has already given, why would He trust us with more. Just don’t let money become your focus.

The Desires For Other Things

Matthew 6:31 – “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Verse 32) “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (Verse 33) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jesus was saying that the people who don’t know God, seek these things. We as believers know that before we ask, He knows. We are to seek God and His righteousness first and then all these other things will be added. Too many Christians get this backwards.

I remember when God started to show me this verse and what it really meant to trust Him, and I can tell you, that was some of the hardest times I ever went through in my Christian life. However, when He brought me out, and blessed me beyond measure, I had learned to trust in Him, even in the smaller things.

Yes, God gave us the “emotion” passion, but don’t let the enemy turn it into a lust for money and other things of this world. Passion for Christ will drive out the lust for other things. Jesus also warns us that the “lust for other things” can drive out the word of God. It can choke the word like thorns! Be careful and cautious, and stay in God’s Word and let His Word do that work in us!

 

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