Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HOW TO GROW

Shared from City Pastor Greg Rogers: Hope 4 My City

I have an old wooden handled one wheeled plow.  It doesn’t’ need an ox or donkey to pull it.  There is no engine to turn a set of blades, it only has one curved blade.  It’s designed to be pushed, pushed back and forth to move the earth of dirt below.  The first year we planted a garden at this home, I tilled the plot with this plow.  I removed weeds, grass, and lots of rocks with a lot of back and forth effort. Now the ground was reading to receive the seed.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness on you.  Hosea 10:12

Breaking up the fallow, unplowed ground of your heart is not about working for your salvation.  It is not trying to make a better you.  It is preparing a suitable place for God to work and produce fruit in your life.  It is about recognizing that the normal flow of our lives is toward a self-centered complacency that hardens our heart by the comfortableness of unconfessed sin and a slow building resistance to the Holy Spirit’s nurturing.
So what may the breaking up the fallow ground look like?

1.       It requires tangible effort.  Just knowing the terminology does not mean that you have done the work.  Looking at my plot of untilled soil and thinking about the work that needs to be done, did not make it happen.  I had to put my hand to the plow and exert energy.  I sweated a lot and my hands blistered.  Many are familiar with the verse and think they have fulfilled it by “being open”.  It’s not your brother, or sister, but it is me o Lord, standing in the need of prayer.  When do you give God time to search your heart to see what does not belong?
2.      Expect resistance.  There are weeds that have taken root.  There will be a pattern of living that you may be unwilling to part.  Don’t settle for the “this is just the way I am”.  The ground must be broken in order for the new fruit of the Spirit to be prosperous in your life.  If you are comfortable with little white lies, STOP, because God is NOT.  He can give you the ability to speak the truth.  Deceitfulness flows in the direction of Satan, remove it from your heart.
3.      Expect a harvest….in time.  We are such a quick fix, gotta have it now, and see immediate results culture.  But God’s principles of harvesting and nature require order and time.  The ground is plowed so that the earth is ready for the seed.  But fertile soil produces an abundant harvest.  So also, give the Holy Spirit time to help you identify and remove sin and its effects in your life.  One right decision leads to another right decision.  Walk in step with the Holy Spirit and you will not carry out (bear the fruit) the desires of the flesh.

The end result is a more intimate relationship with the Father.  Our verse says that you will reap the fruit of unfailing love.  You will know that even though God does not approve of any sin, He is deeply committed to you.  There is pain to know that we have chosen so many times to reject God’s way.  But a restored relationship has great joy when the offensive obstacles are removed.  

David confessed  and asked that God would restore the joy of his salvation and take not the Holy spirit from him.  Tenderness toward our savior is one benefit from breaking up the fallow ground.

Jesus said the one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.  Your fruitful life is before you.  God has great plans today, and the next days for your life.  O that we could see how He plans to use us each day for His glory.

Adapted and Shared from the writings of Pastor Greg Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

http://www.hope4mycity.com/

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