This third type of ground is characteristic of a large part of the Body of Christ today. These are people who have received God’s Word, committed themselves to it to the degree that they are able to remain faithful in persecution, but because of being occupied with the affairs of this life, the Word sown in their heart is choked and no fruit is produced. Just as weeds in a garden will steal all of the nutrients and starve the plant, so the pleasures of this life, if we allow them to dominate our thinking, will stop the fruit that the Word would have produced.
Throughout history, the Church has always grown in size and strength during persecution. This is because during persecution we get our priorities straight. We realize our life is in Jesus (Jn. 14:6) and not in things (Lk. 12:15), and we focus all of our attention on the Lord. However, prosperity has been far more damaging to the Body of Christ for the exact reason stated here in this verse. God wants to bless His children with things (Ps. 35:27; Mt. 6:33), but a preoccupation with these things will choke God’s Word and make it unfruitful. If we would follow God’s formula for prosperity found in Matthew 6:19-34, we would have the Word bringing forth fruit and we’d enjoy the physical blessings of this life, too.
Notice Jesus said that no fruit was brought to perfection. This type of person will exhibit some fruit, but it will always be small and far short of what it should be. Do you feel frustrated because you are just getting by and are not really experiencing the abundant life that Jesus came to give? (Jn. 10:10) Examine your lifestyle and see if the cares of this life, deceitfulness of riches, or pleasures of this life could be choking God’s Word.