Choosing to Die and Be Replaced
One of the first things God showed me after answering my prayer for fear of the Lord was sowing his word into my heart.
Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 13:3-9)
Jesus explained that, when the word of God is sown, Satan comes immediately to take away the word. So when I read the Bible, Satan was coming immediately to take away that word. I had to watch out for him. One place to watch was in my thoughts for thoughts rejecting the word. Satan also caused the cares of this world, lust of other things, pleasures of this life, and trust in false riches to choke the word so it did not produce results in my life.
My initial response was simple and crude, but it did produce some results: sow more word faster. The idea was to sow the word into my heart faster than Satan could steal it away and choke it.
It wasn’t long before this word produced a deeper understanding: cares of this world, lust of other things, pleasures of this life, and trust in false riches were in my heart. They had been sown there over the thirty some years of my life. They were going to continue to work to choke the word and hinder its producing change in me - hindering my growth - unless they were removed. The good news was that they could be removed.
Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: (Matthew 15:18-20)
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:8-9)
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6)
To go forward I had to cast out the those things in me that were choking the word. If I command them to be plucked up by the root in the name of Jesus, they would obey and leave.
I realized the choice. The cares of this world, desires for other things, pleasures of this life, and trust in false riches were rooted in what I desired and what I believed: what I wanted to have, what I wanted to consume, what I wanted to be, and what I wanted others to think I was. If I cast them out and let the word produce its desires and beliefs, then I would die and the word would replace me.
There can be no drawing back and no going back. There is but one way to life and that is to die and become a new creature.
I found that as I kept sowing the word, it kept producing new desires and beliefs - including the desire to cast away those old desires and beliefs that had made me me. Other than praying for fear of the Lord, it is easily the best choice I ever made.