A couple of weeks ago we looked at the parable of the sower found in Luke 8:4-15. In that parable, Jesus gives us insight into the work of the sower and the soil in which he scatters the seed upon. One of the soils that is mentioned is described as thorny (Luke 8:7), which is further revealed to be “those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life” (Luke 8:14). The word “cares” means to draw in different directions, distract. It is so easy to become distracted.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.
As I was preparing for our mid-week class on Hebrews, I came across a promise from God to His followers that brought comfort to my mind. The writer encourages them to “be without covetousness,” which is a fancy way of saying don’t love money. Why? Paul says that such love “is a root of all kinds of evil” (1st Timothy 6:10). We know from the parable of the sower that such attention to “things” can literally choke us. What can help us from such distractions? I believe it is simply faith: that is, taking God at His word. And what does that word say?
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
These words, used by the writer, are found back in Deuteronomy 31:6. In that text we find Joshua being given the role of leader over Israel and the task before him is the journey to the promised land. Listen to the words that accompany the above verse, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God” now put in the above words. God will not allow anything to keep His people from reaching their destination! He will go with you every step of the way, never to leave us or forsake us during our journey. We, like the Psalmist wrote long ago and the writer of Hebrews repeats, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6).
The brokenness of our world cries out, seeking to convince us that the only person you can trust is…yourself: That the only place for contentment to be found is in the things of this world. Such things are temporary (2nd Corinthians 4:18), distracting us from what is true; that is, God is on your side. Help us, Lord, not to become distracted in this busy world. Help us, no matter what we may encounter, to trust Your faithfulness as You bring us home to You.