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Breaking up the Fallow Ground
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up the fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD..." Hosea 10:12
Fallow ground is defined as ground which is not in use, or inactive. Our hearts are God's field where He works in us to refine, purify and break up that which is hardened and to water that which is dry. He will produce an abundance of fruit in our lives if only we'll lay our hearts bare before Him. "Lord, I long for you to do your good will in my life," should be the cry of our hearts...but many choose to cultivate their own lives, to regard not its condition, but rather guard it for themselves and seek after their own ways. Oh, the dryness and desparation that comes from dry barren ground.
Take an honest look at your heart, what do you find there? Has the ground become fallow? Living for ourselves and seeking after our own desires will surely leave us in a state of desolation. A good, honest inventory of the heart will be very revealing when done in the light of truth; attitudes, thoughts, motives, treatment of others are all good indicators of a heart's health or lack thereof. The first time I looked at my own heart I was grieved by what I found there. A dry, barren wasteland...no vegetation as far as the eye could see. Just an old rickety fence and hard, dry ground. This was symbolic of my life. Up until that point all my thoughts, motives and attitudes had been centered around myself, what I wanted, and how I wanted to be treated by others. It wasn't something that other people would recognize, because it was the hidden things, the thoughts and attitudes that I cherished for myself that caused the problem. I was astonished, and saw immediately, my need for help. In desparation I cried out to Jesus. I no longer wanted to be the master of my own life because I saw the fruit that came of it. It was no fruit at all, in fact, not a single green sprout or even soil to plant in. This is because Jesus is the gardener of our hearts.
In order for me to change, for the hardness of heart and lack of love to be changed, I had to be willing to allow God to shine the light of truth into my heart. Every time God would show me something that was hideous, such as an attitude or way of thinking that was selfish, if I acknowledged it, God would turn and till the soil in that particular area. Thus began the process of purification of the soil. What once was hard, dusty dirt, began to become rich soil, prepared for planting. It's amazing how a heart can feel the effects of God working in it for good. It is through this process that we become spiritually awake and find love, joy and peace. He turns, He tills, He breathes new life. Just as soil needs to be oxygenated in order to be rich and prepared for planting and produce much fruit, so the presence of God Almighty is the source of spiritual air we need in order for our hearts to become a fruitful place.
This process begins with prayer and then it continues for the rest of our lives as we earnestly desire the heart of our Father in us and are willing to take an honest survey of our heart's condition. Why would we want anything less for ourselves than for our hearts to be beautiful in the sight of God. Are you willing to take an honest survey of your heart? Ask God to show you what is hidden there and what He would like to do in you. Maybe there is vegetation, but you've neglected precious time spent with God and some weeds have grown up. Maybe, like me, you have found that you've lived your life in vain and for yourself up until now and you need the ground to be tilled by your perfect gardener, Jesus Christ. Dear friend, there is nothing more healing and fulfilling than laying your heart bare before the Lord. He has come to fulfill in our lives the words He spoke in Isaiah 61:1-3:
" The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor."
Lay your heart bare my friend, let the gardener of your heart create in you a beautiful and lush garden; "a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor."