Fallow Ground

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 4 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 4 – 6Psalms 71 – 75Proverbs 15)

Scripture Memory for July – John 3:1 – 21

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read two older posts from this passage – “The Old Paths” and “Catching Men”

“If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.” – (Jeremiah 4:1-4)

“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 10:12)

My thought this morning concerns the phrase “break up your fallow ground”, which is found here in our passage from Jeremiah, and also in the Book of Hosea. Both passages use the phrase in the same context – revival. God told the people of Israel that if they were going to get back into a right relationship with them, they would have to break up, or cultivate, their hearts. The word “fallow” is defined as being unproductive or uncultivated. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the land is worthless, or without potential. It simply means that it is not being used for what it was intended to be used for, and was not fulfilling it’s potential.

I want to make a few observations this morning about what has to be done to fallow ground in order to make it productive, and then compare those things to what has to be done to the heart of the child of God in order to make him “meet for the master’s use”.

1  It must be smashed or broken – Unproductive ground is usually very hard. In our church parking lot, we have an overflow area that is not paved, but is covered with gravel. Recently, I was attempting drive a stake down through this ground, and almost could not do it, because the soil there became almost like concrete. Nothing but a few of the heartiest varieties of weeds can grow in that overflow lot because the ground is simply too hard. If it were ever to be used for the purpose of growing plants, the ground would have to be cultivated, or broken up. The same is true for the Christian. In order for us to be used of God, we must first be broken, or humbled by God. Pride causes us to harden ourselves. A hard-headed, and hard-hearted Christian is not teachable, and cannot be molded by God. The Holy Spirit cannot control someone who will not yield themselves to the will of God.

2  It must be sifted – If you have ever travelled in mountainous areas, you may have noticed that along the perimeters of any gardens or farms there is usually a pile of rocks. Those rocks were once in the field and had to be removed in order to cultivate the soil. The parable of the sower in the New Testament teaches us that things do not grow well in rocky soil. The rocks have to be removed. Also weeds and parasites need to be removed because they will harm the plant, or eventually starve the plants of the nutrients that they need to survive. So it is with the Christian who is seeking the Lord. He needs to remove the things from his life that are hindering his walk with God.

3  It needs to be saturated – Soil that is going to grow healthy plants needs to first be seeded, and then it needs to be watered. I am told that right now about two-thirds of our nation is experiencing drought conditions. This lack of water will hinder the quantity and quality of the harvest, and will drive up the costs of our food. Lots of water is essential to the growth of healthy crops. Our lives need to be saturated with some things in order to grow. We need to saturated ourselves in the Word of God, and in the fellowship of other believers in the local church.

How about it Christian? Is there any fallow ground that needs to be broken us in your life? God wants the very best for you. He wants to produce abundant and healthy fruit through your life that will in turn help to edify the lives of others; but first you must yield control of your life to Him. Let Him cultivate the soil of your heart, and then seed it and saturate with the Word of God so that you can be a blessing to the people around you.

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