Third Kind: Hear, There and Everywhere
The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the Word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the Word and so it produces nothing.(Matthew 13:22)
During one of my “let’s get physical” days, I went to the Ultra Track Oval to jog. As I was cooling down, I noticed a girl who was just warming up. Her friends were urging her to hurry up so they could start running already, but the girl motioned for them to go ahead because she wanted to finish, not her warm-up routine, but the cigarette she was smoking.
There was just something wrong with that picture.
Judging from that scene alone, it seemed like she had the desire to by physically fit and knew that exercising was the way to achieve this goal. But it also seemed like she could not let go of a habit that would eventually undermine all her efforts.
Some things simply don’t mix well together. Like oil and water.
But some things are outright dangerous when mixed together. Like gasoline and fire.
And then there are things that are not supposed to be mixed together, but people attempt to because the harmful consequences are not immediately obvious. Like exercise and cigarette-smoking.
And love of God and love of the world.
This is the third kind of hearers: those who use one ear to listen to what God is whispering and the other ear to listen to what the world is shouting – and then attempt to tread the middle ground.
Such people are just fooling themselves. Having the best of both worlds is simply not possible. Something’s got to give eventually. And it’s usually the desire for God that does.
But don’t take my word for it.
Consider the Word of God.
No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money. (Matthew 6:24)
Do not love the world or what is in the world. If anyone does love the world, the love of the Father finds no place in him. (1 John 2:15)
Do you not realize that love for the world is hatred for God? Anyone who chooses the world for a friend is constituted an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Need I quote more?
There is no middle ground here. Setting your heart on heaven while equally setting it on what the world offers is not only paradoxical, it’s risky. And a total waste of your time and effort in the long run. So why even attempt it?
Commit to listen to the voice of God and drown out the voice of the world. Or commit to focus your attention on the world and drown out the voice of God.
There can be no compromise. It’s one or the other. You have to choose.
Do you want the Word of God to bear fruit in your life?
Then the choice is clear.