The past few months, I've found myself crying out in prayer, that YHWH keep me from letting the care of this world "choke me out." In researching for and writing the Goshen Gazette, as well as facilitating a discipleship class, and building Bethesda Wellness Centre, life has been just a tad busy. None of my other responsibilities have diminished, as the homestead is still operating full swing and the natural products business is continuing to expand. By nature, I'm a workaholic, who always enjoyed "too many irons in the fire" as my Daddy would call it, but this past couple of weeks, I actually said aloud, "I have all I can do." Also, in these past few weeks and months, I've found myself saying aloud, frequently, "I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. Of course that passage is true, but He strengthens us to do the work in which He is leading, and not the numerous distractions that can often weigh us down and choke us out!
I can honestly say, I haven't spent my time leisurely or on entertainment, which is also a point unto itself. How many of the "so called" servants of YHWH spend a significant amount of time on sports and entertainment? I'm not claiming spiritual superiority in that fact that I don't, but rather raising the concern and observation of just how easy it is to be distracted. I openly confess, too many irons in the fire for a workaholic is no more holy than Monday Night Football, video games, or movies. As a matter of fact, in researching for articles, I am exposed to just as much secularism or more; and sadly in this sad state of our society, the ongoing continuation seems endless. Unlike football, there is no two minute warning to announce the end. Research is also quite different from entertainment, in that, again, there is no "end of game or end of movie." It's been quite harrowing. I believe I'm getting a handle on this, but it can happen so subtly . . . I certainly do not lean to my own understanding in this, but literally cling to YHWH and His Word.
The Goshen Gazette has moved from weekly to semimonthly, and that will eventually change, but for now, it is what it is. Watching Isaiah 5:20-21 come to pass is heart breaking. The warning, as our society is literally inverted to redefine good and evil, seems to be virtually unheeded as we plunge headlong into an abyss of chaos. Intercessory prayer must sound so redundant to Our Father, by now.
As I looked at the interpretation of the parable that has been coming to my spirit, I noticed once again, that seed among thorns represented both "the care of the world" and the deceitfulness of riches. While I've not been one drawn or attracted to the prosperity teachings, and my desires in this world are not of great material value, the headlines that I research definitely fall into the category of "the care of this world." It became pretty tense and quiet for a time in my life. I delight in the Voice of our Creator, and I have indeed experienced now, just how the care of this world feels strangely dark, quiet, and suffocating.
I will continue to sound the warning of the redefinition being done in our society, but I will not be joining discussions on where the Jews got it wrong with Talmud or where the Christians are misinterpreting the New Testament. Nor am I particularly interested in the history of ancient cultures or pagan rituals. I am interested in Living Scripture and following Messiah who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. I don't need to have the most information about a Biblical topic, I need to know the Author and His Son, more. I've been noticing, not only is our society calling good evil and evil good, but those in the "religious know" are doing some horrendous redefinition and re-prioritizing, as well. Many of the religious debates can be found in this parable as well. Stony places and no deepness is often displayed and voiced in discussions and social media comments.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. :22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
Time is short. Even if Messiah's return is not as soon as many of us hope, our days are not promised and none of us are getting any younger. Meanwhile, Scripture very clearly tells us we will give an account . . .