In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, the third soil that received the seed was “among the thorns” (Matthew 13:7). This soil was thorny. The result was the thorns “grew up and choked the plants” (Matthew 13:7). Jesus equated this earthly truth with the spiritual: “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).
We often react to past experiences with a thorny heart. We hold on to “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth.” We worry about everything from how to pay our bills to what our friends think about us. We fall prey to the deceitfulness of wealth because we think it promises satisfaction when, in the end, we are left dissatisfied. Mark’s account of the same story recorded Jesus describing a thorny heart as one that had “desires for other things” (Mark 4:19). Our attempt to satisfy our desires for other things chokes out the expression of Christ in our hearts and lives.
If you are holding on to a thorny place in your heart where you are choking out the expression of Christ, let go. Allow the Holy Spirit to plow out the thorns of worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things. Let go and return to Christ with all of your heart (see Joel 2:12). Christ’s seed will take root, bearing the fruit of changed lives.