“… but the cares of this age, the seductiveness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it produces nothing.” -Jesus (Mark 4:19)
God spoke to me this morning (June 30). One thing He said is: “Care is a great hindrance to the spiritual walk.” I believe He wants me to share this with you. Dictionary.com defines care chiefly as: “a state of mind in which one is troubled; worry, anxiety, or concern.” It also is defined as: “serious attention.”
On this occasion I heard God’s voice with unusual clarity. That He chose to speak about care is very telling; it means this is an issue God Himself sees as important right now. I believe God is only concerned with HIS people, therefore it is the “care” within the church that He warned of.
I would boil the meaning of care down to “worry and serious attention.” Jesus spoke of the “cares of this age,” meaning cares that are purely temporal and of this world. There’s no denying that many temporal issues have caused worry or serious attention in the church. A perfect recent example is gun control, but I could also mention world wars, communism, weather anomalies and natural disasters, government conspiracies, abortion and gay marriage, on and on. Also, one could look at “care” how one appears to other people or what others think. The issue isn’t whether there is merit to concern over these things. The issue is that these often spawn the cares of this age Jesus said would choke the word and keep it from bearing fruit. Simply put, you can’t properly relate to God and mature when your awareness is full of care over things going on in the world. When believers look no different than unbelievers in their worry and attention regarding worldly issues, something is amiss.
I remember well the hype surrounding Y2K. I was apprehensive as 01/01/2000 approached due to what I had heard, so I stayed up until midnight despite feeling terrible with a serious case of the flu. When midnight hit and the power stayed on, I remember a distinct feeling of anti-climax while literally crawling up the stairs slowly to my bed with my head spinning. Nothing happened.
Even in my limited years, I’ve seen several examples in the church of very devout people, including “leaders,” who are highly aware of their own care-filled, religious soul and label it “God.” Some prophesy doom and sternly instruct people to prepare, then nothing happens. Many who followed these prophesies and warnings are left wounded and disillusioned, with time and money wasted. The scary thing is, what your awareness is consumed by controls you and is essentially your god. The soul, religious or not, is “god” to many.
I don’t for a second believe that America is special to God or immune to undergoing severe economic or other forms of hardship. I also am not saying that preparing or being skeptical of government, mainstream medicine, etc. is wrong of itself. What I’m saying is when someone’s awareness is given over to care – to serious attention and worry over issues of this age, this is a GREAT hindrance to the spiritual walk. You can’t hear and follow the spirit of God, which is of a different realm than the world, when you’re awareness is consumed with the troublesome issues of the world. Jesus’ awareness was consumed with his Father and His voice. That’s what he ordered his life by. Want to be Jesus’ disciple? Put yourself in position to be increasingly aware of God’s spirit and voice, and decreasingly aware of the voice that rehashes the various cares of the world. My previous blog gives a brief “how-to” on this. You can read it here. God bless you.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34, NKJV)