The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Satan’s first strategy to destroy everything important to us in life is to discourage us from worshiping God, but he has a second strategy, and that is to distract you from serving God. If Satan cannot be successful in causing you to reject God, maybe he can just get you to ignore God. It is a subtle but powerful strategy.
How can Satan cause you to simply neglect God in your everyday life? It is through what we used to call “worldliness.” When we think of worldliness, we tend to think about overt sins like addiction or sexual immorality. That is really not what worldliness is. My definition of worldliness is a preoccupation with the details and delights of everyday life. Satan wants you to be so preoccupied with the details and the delights of everyday life that you neglect your relationship with God.
Worldliness in your life might be choosing to watch another rerun of your favorite comedy instead of spending time in God’s Word. It might be allowing your emotional well-being to be determined by the ups and downs of the stock market. It might be dwelling on your child’s social standing during Sunday morning worship instead of listening to the Word of God. It might be becoming so obsessed with your job that you do not have time to be involved in meaningful ministry for God. Whatever worldliness looks like in your life, it is part of the enemy’s attempt to destroy everything valuable in your life by distracting you from serving God.
Jesus talked about the power of worldliness in Luke 8 in the parable of the soils. He was answering the question, “Why is it that not everyone who hears the Word of God responds to the Word of God?” Jesus said God’s Word is like seed that is cast onto the soil, and what happens to that seed is determined by what kind of soil the seed falls on. The different kinds of soil in the parable represented different conditions of the human heart. The third kind of soil is the one that is relevant to Satan’s strategy of distraction. Look at verses 7 and 14: “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. . . . These are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.” Jesus was talking about people who begin to gr0w in their faith, but then something chokes out their devotion to God. That is the power of worldliness–it chokes out our relationship with God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.