Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Thorny Soil aka the Crowded Soil

Another condition of our heart that can stifle want God wants to do in our next chapter is the thorny soil, or the crowded soil.

This soil also, from the surface, looks like good soil. However, below the surface there lay seeds of thorns which grow with the plant and starve it of its nutrients and resources.. such that the plant grows, but never bears fruit

My last blog talked about the rocky soil stopping growth by the inability to withstand attacks. Well the thorny soil is all about distraction and diversion.

What is a thorn?

A thorn is anything that takes your focus away from pursuing God. Busyness, worry about financial pressure, relationship stress, pursuit of wealth, unforgiveness, pride?

These are all diversions and distractions – and take your energy and focus off God’s work in your life and onto other futile pursuits.

We all have areas of temptation and weaknesses.. for a moment think about what that is for you.. think about when that temptation starts- the first thing that happens if you don’t deal with it - it starts to grow in your thought life. The longer it’s left untreated, the more time and space it starts occupying in your thought life.

Then you don’t feel like praying anymore because you feel guilty. You start letting your quiet times slip because you don’t feel like doing them at the moment.. Maybe it moves from your thought life to a physical action of some kind..

Yet it’s happened – your time, energy and focus has been redirected to something other than God.

Diversions can also be small and seemingly insignificant, yet just as effective in distracting us. “Can’t do my quiet time today, I have the flue.. the next day I have to be at work early, the day after that I have a Business breakfast on” before you know it – you’re out of the habit of meeting with God.

Henry says, “An unconvinced unhumbled heart is like fallow-ground, ground untilled, unoccupied. It is our ground, let out to us, and we must be accountable for it.

But it is fallow; it is unfenced (ie unguarded) and lies common;

It is overgrown with thorns and weeds... We must search into our own hearts, let the word of God divide (as the plough does) between the joints and the marrow. We must rend our hearts. We must pluck up by the roots those corruptions which, as thorns, choke both our endeavours and our expectations.
” Where our hearts have been unfenced.. unguarded - then we need to do some weeding. Have we entertained the thorns in our life thinking we can keep them under control. Julianne Cutcliffe once said, “Don’t make friends with that which will destroy you” Don’t turn a blind eye to that which will lead into diversion and distraction.

What thorns have you got that might be imperfectly cleared.

The frequency of you needing to weed may depend on the season you’re in. Joyce Meyer says “the higher the level.. the higher the devil” The deeper you go in God, the more risk of distraction and diversion.

You may also need to weed more than once for the same "weed seed" because a weed producing Seed that is dropped on your lawn drops enough seeds that lay dormant that will affect your lawn for seven seasons.

Just when you think you’ve plucked a thorn out by the roots, it comes back again to tempt.. to distract.. to occupy your thought life and to seek to lure you away from pursuing God at that deeper level. You get victory at one level, but then you need victory at a deeper level.

The answer is this:

Gal 5:16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

This is a promise. Live Habitually in the Holy Spirit and we will be able to withstand the cravings of our human nature. He is our key to keeping our soil weed free.

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