It is a story as old as the one of the rich, young ruler in the Bible. When he asked Jesus “What must I do to be saved?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:21,22
So many in the world today are like the seeds in the parable of the sower.
The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
They are lured by the trappings of this life-money, success, lust, power, greed-like shiny toys that a child will not lay down. When presented with the gospel of Christ and the promise of eternal life they cannot give up the pleasures of this world.
It reminds me of the story of how indigenous people catch monkeys in the Amazon. They place a piece of candy inside a coconut. When the monkey makes a fist around the candy to take it, its hand is too big to come back out of the coconut. For the price of a piece of candy the monkey loses his freedom and ultimately his life.
But obedience to Christ has reward in this life as well. Nothing in this life compares to peace with God through Christ and the adventure of a life following Him. In my book Confessions of a Christian Twi-hard, I share about some of the adventures and rewards that I have experienced in my life. The saga continues as God continues to bless my life of obedience and service to Him.
CS Lewis describes it well:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
There is a promise in the Bible
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Who other than the One that created you would know the true desires of your heart? When I look at the rewards of obedience, I am amazed at how God has met needs and fulfilled dreams beyond what I could ever imagine.
I dare you to prove me wrong. Surrender to Him and give him your life and tell me that you do not find more joy than the piece of candy in the coconut that enslaves you.