"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful," (Matthew 13:22).

Thorny soil is very deceptive in outward appearance. It looks very much like good rich soil -- on the surface! However, beneath the surface are roots of weeds that grow up and choke out the new plants (spiritual revelation) trying to grow from the Word of God deposited in the heart.

There are three pulls this world has that will cause the heart to become thorny soil: (1) the lust of the flesh -- that which leads to sexual immorality, (2) the lust of the eyes--that which leads to covetousness, greed and avarice, and (3) the pride of life--that which leads to selfishness, worry, anxiety and the hardness of heart, (see 1 John 2:16). These three pulls of the world give an opportunity for four weeds to grow in the heart: worry, anxiety, busyness and bitterness. The warning stands, those that partake of these worldly pulls will be unfruitful in experiencing the benefits of the Kingdom of God.

Weeds have the ability to grow anywhere and can flourish with very little soil to support them. Weeds have no value and are quite harmful to the plants that do have value. When the Word of God is spoken, its target is the heart, will, and affections of mankind. However, man has a responsible part in the process of sowing the Word. There must be a willingness to receive into the heart, will and affections the Spoken Word, and put what is received to work in the life.

Our solution to not allowing our hearts to become thorny ground is recorded in John 21:15 and Deuteronomy 6:5. In John 21:15, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "do you truly love me more than these?" This question must be answered in the affirmative if the soil of the heart is to remain good ground for the Spoken Word. The heart must love God more than it likes to worry, or become busy even with good works. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart--not a divided heart. Yes, worry, busyness and bitterness divide the affections of the heart leaving it without a healthy root system. A heart with an infectious root system will not allow healthy Christian growth. God wants us healthy, so take a look at the solution and apply it to the life. God bless you with abundant grace for wisdom and healthy growth.

Apostle Ednorleatha Long
Christian Growth Center Church
1200 N. 41st St.
East St. Louis, IL 62204

This teaching comes from the 50-page workbook "Healthy Christian Growth"
Image Credit:  Roberto Verzo