I’m currently trying to save money to move across the country. The result is the constant struggle deciding what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury. The whole process is teaching me that I’ve lived for a long time getting used to having materialistic comforts.
In light of this, I’ve been thinking on Matthew 13 and the parable of the sower. The parable is about the Kingdom of God (or the reign of God), suggesting it is like a farmer who “went out to sow his seed.” Jesus then proceeds to list all the places the seed fell:
1. along the path (birds ate it)
2. in rocky places (died because of shallow soil, no root)
3. among thorns (got choked)
As the disciples are trying to figure all this out, Jesus tells them, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (13:11) In other words, the disciples got something that the crowds didn’t.
Jesus goes on to explain that when people hear the good news about the Kingdom (ie. A new way of life is available to humanity through Jesus Christ), a few problems can occur:
1. They don’t understand it, so “the evil one” snatches it away (vs. 19).
2. Trouble or persecution comes, so they lose hope (vs. 20-21).
3. They get sidetracked with the “worries of this life” and the “deceitfulness of wealth” (vs. 22).
The more I talk with people, the more I see that most of us fit into one of those categories. When God puts a dream in our hearts and a vision of the way things should be, it either grows in us or it’s choked out. Jesus was gracious enough to give us a clear picture of how that can happen.
As I continue to decide what things in my life need to go and what needs to remain, my continual prayer is that I will have: wisdom to understand what God wants to do in me and in my world, toughness to handle hard times, and clear focus so I don’t get sidetracked.