“I will hedge up your way with thorns…”
We are living in a culture where so many Christian’s lives are in an anemic state. Somehow, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into the mistruth that God’s grace requires nothing of us. The simple fact is relationship always demands responsibility. This has been an essential part of God’s design from the beginning. Those who come into relationship with Christ will always be called to join Him in His mission to impact the world. We can never truly experience the fullness of His Spirit until our lives are fully surrendered to His will.
Sadly, it is our tendency to allow our hearts to shift to substitutes. Jesus’ parable, that we looked at yesterday, talks about the tragedy of the believer who allows his life to be defined by the thorns of this world rather than the fruit of the Spirit. These are true believers who have received Christ. He has taken root in their lives and they do exhibit fruit, but this fruit is stunted because the thorns have never been weeded out. In fact, though there is fruit, to the observer thorns have now become the distinctive element of this person’s life. In Mark 4, these thorns are described as 1) the cares of the world, 2) the deceitfulness of riches, and 3) the desires of other things.
How often do we go through all the motions that we are seeking after the Lord, but all the while our lives are anemic, frustrated, and undistinguishable from the world around us? And so we choke the presence and power of the Spirit from our daily lives, shutting Him out of the “real world” and relegating Him to the world of religion. What should be distinguishing our lives, the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, has given way to a discontent, a stress, a search for something out there that will bring us peace and purpose. This unrequited search creates an ever deepening dependency on the thorns, which demands more stuff, more money, more time thatonly creates more worries that becomes a hedge of thorns (Hosea 2)that only end up in pain everywhere we turn.
Read Hosea 2:6-15. What thorns does God need to remove in your life?