If you’ve been waiting for a manifestation of God’s promises in your life, Mark 4:18-19 may have your answer. In these verses, Jesus tells us about three blessing blockers, or “thorns,” that will steal your harvest: Cares and anxieties, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things. Learn how to remove these thorns from the soil of your heart, so you can receive your blessing!
1. Cares and Anxieties
With concerns about health, finances, marriage and children, this can be a daily struggle. But, the bottom line is, you can’t be worried or be in fear, andwalk in faith at the same time. If you want to cultivate a heart that produces a hundredfold harvest, you must seek to drive worry, fear and anxiety out of your life by learning to trust God and by putting your faith in His Word concerning every issue that you face.
It isn’t always easy at first, and it does take diligence to find out what God says about your situation and to continue to stand in faith and not fear—no matter what your eyes may see.
How to remove this thorn: Whenever an anxious thought pops into your mind, rebuke it, take it captive, and say, “No, I refuse to worry about that. Jesus, I roll this care over on You because I know You care for me.”
The good news is…if you keep fighting the battle against worry by keeping the Word in your heart and in your mouth, it will become so real on the inside of you, you won’t have to fight it anymore. You will naturally begin to exercise faith and not fear.
2. The Deceitfulness of Riches
We know that prospering is a good thing—it is God’s will for us to be blessed financially. What is outside of His will, however, is when money or material possessions become the most important priority in your life. If money or making money becomes more important to you than spending time in the Word, attending church or spending time with your family, it has become a heart issue—a thorn that is stealing your blessing from you.
If you face this thorn in your life, it doesn’t have to stay—no matter how deep it runs or how long it’s been there. The power of the living God is the power to deliver and restore. He makes all things new (Revelation 21:5), including you.
How to remove this thorn: Begin by making a commitment to change the priorities in your life. This may require a big change in your schedule, but the Lord will be with you as you take these steps toward freedom. Ask Him to meet your natural with His super, and guard your heart against the enemy, who will certainly be there to try to talk you out if it. Remember, he is already a defeated foe, so pay him no attention. God is on your side!
3. The Lusts for Other Things
The third and final thorn is another all-too-common reason born-again people don’t produce fruit or receive an abundant harvest of blessings. It is “the lusts of other things.”
So, what are the lusts of other things? Well, the Hebrew translation of the word lust is “longing desire for other things,” no matter how innocent they may seem. This can also be described as foolishness or folly. Proverbs 15:14 says, “a fool feeds on folly,” (NIV). No one wants to be called a fool, but the Word makes it plain—if we spend a lot of time feeding on folly, we’re being foolish. One of the primary reasons most Christians aren’t seeing the kingdom of God manifest in their lives in greater power is because they are spending time feeding on folly and not the Word of God.
What is folly? It can also be defined as “silliness.” So, where are believers finding folly? Well…every television set, movie theater, radio and magazine stand…just to name a few. With hundreds of cable channels and the internet, it’s not difficult to find an unlimited supply of foolishness to feed on.
How to remove this thorn: When you spend more time consuming worldly entertainment than the Word of God, your heart will become cluttered and take on thorns that crowd out THE BLESSING. Limit or remove this thorn—and you’ll see breakthroughs in areas you’ve been praying about for years.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” This means we must put God and His kingdom FIRST. He must be our highest desire and priority.
Once you have removed these thorns, you heart will be uncluttered by the cares of this world, the love of money and the lust for other things. People with these kinds of hearts are the ones who see God’s kingdom at work in their lives—the good-soil believers who bear fruit—30-, 60- and a hundredfold.