Look in Mark 4 at the "Parable of the Sower." This parable talks about the kind of soil (heart) that the seed (Gospel/Message) can fall on. In vs. 19 it says "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." Okay, so we're not actually the ones being choked, it's the Word coming to us that is being choked, but the result is the same. If you have a garden with good seed, but it is sown among thorns (vs. 7), the thorns grow up and choke the seed and it doesn't produce a crop. In the same way, these specific things choke the Word in us from having any affect in our lives and cause us to be unfruitful.
Things that choke the Word (Mark 4:19):
1. Cares of this world
- family issues
- health problems
- social injustice
2. Deceitfulness of riches
- coveting money (thinking if you have it, all your problems will go away)
- when wealth makes you too self-sufficient (don't recognize your need for God)
- thinking money will fill the void in your life as opposed to a relationship with Jesus
3. Desire for other things
- desire for power
- acceptance (fear of man more than God)
- a "grass is always greener" attitude, never satisfied with what you have
- "fill in the blank" - it could be anything that we put before God and thus make an idol out of it - where that thing you desire, may not be bad in and of itself, but your need for it overwhelms your desire for God.
Why am I bringing this up today in relation to my feeling depressed? The answer is, like I said, depression is when I don't trust God and keep Him at his Word. Instead, I am letting the cares of this life, this world that is only temporary, dictate how I think, feel and act.
2nd Cor. 5:7 says "we walk by faith and not by sight" - so here is the choice I must make...
- I can walk by what I see and believe that I have problems that can't be fixed, I have family issues that are never going to get better, I have health problems that will only get worse, I have too much to handle and I might as well give up...
- OR I can walk by faith in God's Word that says I am forgiven, I am blessed, I am protected, I am provided for, I have an inheritance in Heaven, I have a purpose on earth, I am not alone, God is for me, not against me...you get the picture.
I know what choice I'm going to make today - how about you?