Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 20,2007

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." Hosea 10:11KJV

Preparing ground for planting is an arduous process. My son is in the business of preparing ground for property development. It often requires him to go into a wooded lot, dense with undergrowth, and with a special piece of equipment called a positrack, he removes the trees from the designated area so that others can come in behind him and take it to the next stage of development. Most of the areas he prepares are for either residential or commercial development. But, if it were going to become a field for growing a crop, a lot more than just removing trees would be necessary.

A tractor with a plow would have to come in and break up the ground. The sharp tines of the plow would dig deeply into the soil, overturning clods of hard dirt and unearthing what might possibly be lying beneath the surface. Next a disk would attack the ground, making the soil finer and easier to work with. After several rounds with these tools, finally a harrow would smooth the ground and make it ready for planting.

Often in our lives, God desires to plant seeds that will bear much fruit. But, first, he must plow up the stony ground of our hearts. We may be committed Christians, seeking the Lord, but still have areas of our hearts that have grown cold or become hardened through sin or apathy or just plain busyness. Sometimes we fall prey to Satan's lies, allowing him to lead us astray or deceive us. Soon we may find ourselves blinded to the truth or deaf to God's still small voice. Then God must do His divine work of breaking through all the "build up" and make us "fertile soil" again.

It is a painful process. None of us want to go through it. Yet in our lives as believers, if we want to go on with God, we must allow it. God never chooses to "plow up our lives" without a purpose. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He "knows the plans I have for you...plans for good and not evil, to give you a hope and a future." So although it is painful for us at times to have our lives uprooted, it is for our good !

"Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the LORD." Jeremiah 31:28. God does not "break up our fallow ground" just to disrupt our lives. He does it so that He can root out all the junk in our lives that prevents us from being all that He desires us to be. Left to ourselves, we would not do it. We would prefer to just keep going along and not rock the boat. But God knows in His divine wisdom what we need. He will always do what is best for us, just as parents, we always try to do what is best for our children. To them, it may seem harsh or mean, but being the parent....older and wiser....we know that it is for their ultimate good. God's desire for us is to "uproot, tear down, overthrow, and destroy" anything in our life that is contrary to His plan and His purpose. Once the breaking up is done, then He can begin to "build and to plant" the seeds He desires to sow. He wants us to become "oaks of righteousness... a planting of the Lord." (Is. 61:3) But first, he must plow up the ground!

Today if your life is being plowed up, ask the Lord to give you grace to cooperate with Him and not fight against Him. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding." Prov. 3:5 Allow Him to do His work so that you, too, may become a "planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." (Is. 61:3)

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