Breaking Fallow Ground

“Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

You have plowed iniquity;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
    and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
    and all your fortresses shall be destroyed.”
Hosea 10:12-14

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9

There come times in life when we realize we are reaping what we have sown- in personal habits, in relationships, in our work, in a nation- and find it sobering, even painful. We can choke with regret. But even in this awakening of our sensibilities, God shines. We see our Lord as faithful, bringing about what He has said in His word. If His word is true in its tenets, it is also true in its invitations. God mercifully calls us to break up what we’ve destroyed or let slip, to seek Him, to begin to cultivate what we have let lie fallow, to sow to the Spirit.

Now is the time to do this work of righteousness. Breaking our fallow ground, coming to terms with wasted opportunities or years and repenting of our misappropriated ‘farming’ is not easy, but necessary for the Lord’s righteousness to reign. It is always good to do the hard labor of sowing to the Spirit, and it is never good to delay. We will face challenges, but the Lord promises joyful return.

There may be labor required of us that brings little immediate satisfaction. Because we see no meaning in it, and little result, or consider it drudgery rather than joy, we feel we do it in vain. But the Lord says, when we work as unto Him we receive a reward- a promise to take hold of, whether for this life or the next. (Ephesians 6:7-8; Colossians 3:23-24)

Some work makes us restless and out of sorts, and it could be we are trying to do only what we want to do, or what we think another wants us to do, but not what God has designed for us to do. We might think it best to sow our own ideas, but unless the Spirit directs our path according to His preordained plan, we will be uncomfortable in our workmanship skin, and bear little, if any, fruit. (Ephesians 2:10)

What seeds of destruction have I sowed in conversations or among neighbors? What sin habits have I plowed that are having sorry effects? Where am I neglecting God’s work altogether? It is time to repent.

Good Master, make me faithful to break up the fallow ground of my soul and in my life. Where I lack zeal, remind me this work of righteousness is a gift, and by Your Spirit, exalts Your love and brings You glory.

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