July 2, 2007 Ration

Mark 4:18-19

“…the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

What chokes out the word in a life in the arts? The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things; these choke out the word. It is the same for all mankind. And when the word is choked out, the one in whom it was sown will see no fruit. Are these thorns stronger than the word? No. Are they more satisfying than the word? No. Are they more fruit-bearing than the word? No. So why do they choke out the word? Because we let them!

Thorn seeds are in our soil as well, and we must stir our soil often with the hoes of faith, perseverance, and zeal so that the thorns cannot take root. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:12b-13). If we are slothful and let these weeds grow, they will produce flowers themselves, and quickly, by which they work their seduction. They present themselves to us as imitators of beauty, and as we find them attractive to a degree, we begin to entertain them; we make room for them. We give them time in our lives, a plot in our land, and a portion of our affections. We begin to believe the fragrance of their claims even as they use the Bible to persuade us. They will quote, “He who does not provide for his own… is worse than an unbeliever” (I Tim. 5:8) and then show us the American dream as the definition of provision. But the full counsel of the word includes, “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it” (Prov. 15:16). And, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul” (Mark 8:36)? And, “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:32-33).

The council of thorns; the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things is the council of the devil, is it not? “All these pleasures I will give you…” they say like their father. But we must defend our little lot from the enemies with the full council of the word, and with a hoe in our hand, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). We would be fools to be lured away from God by a moment's pleasure, when all is ours already, and eternally, through Christ!

There are so many pretty weeds of the genera "the cares of the world", "the deceitfulness of riches", and "the desires for other things" in the garden of the arts. Do not let them choke out the beauty of the eternal fruit of the word. Put your hoe in the ground and protect your soil.

Jason Harms


© 2007 The Gaius Project