“… the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)
As Jesus explained The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4, He said that sometimes the word of God is “sown” into a life (:18) but that there are three things that can “choke” it so that it doesn’t bear fruit:
— “the worries of the world” The world can be a terrifying place: crime, economic distress, “wars and rumors of wars”, as well as routine but continual daily needs, can weigh on a person, and hinder their walk with God.
— “the deceitfulness of riches” Many believe if they can only achieve a certain level of prosperity (usually whatever is just above where they presently are!) then they will really be happy. But as Jesus says here, riches are “deceitful.” They won’t give a person what they promise. But the desire for wealth can do a terrific job of choking out the time and effort one needs to cultivate godliness and serve the Lord.
— “the desires for other things” Sometimes it is just a desire for something else — it could be any of a number of things; the enemy is masterful at finding whatever will do the trick for you — that turns one’s concentration from the Lord & His kingdom.
There are a number of applications we might glean from this passage, but one question each of us should ask ourselves is this: is one of these things that Jesus mentioned “choking out” MY spiritual growth?
And if so, what do I need to ask God to help me to do about it?