“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18,19)
The “cares of this world” interfered with Martha’s receiving the Word she needed to hear. The “deceitfulness of riches” prevented the rich, young ruler from continuing in the Word and becoming a disciple indeed. If we are to be good ground in whom the Word becomes fruitful we must have one passion that overrules all others. Our love for anything other than our Lord Himself is the place where we are most vulnerable to defection.
The things we “have to do,” can’t give up, are crazy about, are the very idols which make our continuance with God problematic. We can try to justify and “sanctify” them; but in the end, if they have caused us to go astray, they are neither right nor holy.