Your Worst Enemy

Michael Beck

“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)

Paul marveled at the falling away of the Galatian churches. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Gal. 1:6) They had a good start. He questioned them: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Gal. 5:7) False teachers can indeed pose a problem to a new convert’s advancing in God. But more often than not, the biggest hindrance is not found outside of ourselves.

The proper end of God’s grafting us into the Branch is that we should bring forth fruit. (John 15:1,2) Likewise, when seed falls into the earth it is designed to yield fruit. But Jesus speaks of a case when this fails to happen. “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.” (Mark 14:7) The thorns here compete with the seeds for space to grow. They deprive the seeds of the opportunity to fulfill their potential. What at first seemed promising, ends in failure.

So it is in the life of many. The seed of God’s Word enters the ground of a heart. “The word of God is quick, and powerful” (Heb. 4:12); carrying with it the potential to completely revolutionize one’s life. But if we are to be “disciples indeed” we must “continue” in the Word. (John 8:31) The Lord has many things to say to us. (John 16:12) Our growth depends on our continual instruction in and obedience to the truth found in the word of God. When we allow “the cares of this world,” “the deceitfulness of riches,” and “the lusts of other things” to absorb and dominate our soul, the powerful words of God that could have produced so much fruit in our life are interfered with. The blessed and glorious end God had in mind for us is left unrealized. The word is suffocated and becomes unfruitful.

If we will hear the voice of the Shepherd no man will be able to take us out of His hand. (John 10:27,28) But the one person we need to be most on guard against is the one who we see each day in the mirror. Don’t sabotage the good and glorious work that God would do in your life. His seed in you is designed to grow.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.