In Mark 4:18-19 Jesus says that some people “hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” He’s describing people who don’t respond well to God’s word and message because of three things.
Today we focus on the third: “the desires for other things.” It’s a broad category, so it could be any desire that is greater than our desire for Jesus and his message.
Maybe it’s being popular. Because of that, perhaps you start saying and doing do what you think will make others like you instead of what is right. Or perhaps you desire comfort at all costs—so much that you never leave the comfort zone, make sacrifices, or re-arrange priorities because of your faith.
In situations like these cases, things that seem fine can turn out to be fatal.
The movie Into the Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who decided to give up on his “normal” life to travel through North America. He eventually finds himself in the wilderness of Alaska. He is isolated, but seems to love the back-to-nature simplicity and authenticity of things. He hunts his own food, reads books, and lives in an old abandoned bus.
But he starts missing people and plans to return to civilization. One day he ate some seeds for food. He didn’t realize it because they looked like so many other seeds—but they were toxic. Something he thought was fine turned out to be fatal.
The same can happen to us. Some things that seem fine can be fatal. These are “the desires for other things” that are so strong, that they push Jesus and his message into the footnotes of our lives, and then eventually off the page.
Think about your priorities. Is there a toxic seed in the mix? If so, make a change. The only true source of lasting and life-giving nourishment is Jesus.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–Today’s devotional is connected to my latest podcast. You can watch or listen here.