Sometimes it’s easier to open my heart to God when I’m at church. But what about after that? What about the rest of the days of the week?
If I open up my heart to God only at a worship service and nothing else, my heart becomes fallow. Fallow means inactive or barren.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12 NKJV
Notice the phrase, “break up your fallow ground.” When a farmer cultivates his land, he must first plow the ground to prepare it for sowing and then plant the seeds. If the farmer plows the land but doesn’t plant anything there, it’s considered fallow ground.
This makes me wonder, does my heart become fallow?
Notice the verse also says to “sow for yourselves righteousness.” It sounds like I have a responsibility to put something in my heart. If I don’t plant anything, I’m not going to see anything grow. Zero plus zero still equals zero.
Spiritual Growth 101
It’s as if the ground is my heart, and I need to put truth in there that shows me how to live in a way that’s pleasing to the Lord.
That reminds me of the parable of the Sower in Luke 8 where Jesus says, “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11 NASB). It makes sense that I need to “plant” the “seed” of the Word of God in the “ground” of my heart.
If I plant seeds then I will get fruit, right? Plant the Word of God and you will get the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). That means if fruit is going to come to maturity, I can’t ignore my sins. I must confess and forsake them (Proverbs 28:13). Just like a natural garden needs sunlight and water or it will die, the garden of my heart needs “light” and “water.”
Well, Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and His light is going to shine on my darkness and expose my sin. Additionally, I need the water of the Word to wash me (Ephesians 5:26), and I need the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome (John 7:37-39).Is my heart fallow ground? If I don’t plant anything, I’m not going to see anything grow. Zero plus zero still equals zero.
For a Real-Life Example of This, Let Me Tell You How God Helped Me Tame My Tongue
Disclosure: I don’t think the subject of cursing needs to be a matter of division in the body of Christ, as controversial as it may be. I choose not to judge others. Today I’m simply sharing my personal testimony on the subject.
One day a couple of decades ago, I was reading James chapter three. It made me squirm a little, because I had read it before and sensed the Holy Spirit’s conviction about my mouth—but hadn’t done anything about it. I guess you could say my heart was fallow in this area. Then I got to verse ten:
From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. James 3:10 NASB
I’d be praying and worshipping God one day and then angry and cussing (which was never in front of anyone) on another. My mouth got me in trouble in other ways too, like saying what I thought without regard for hurting others.
God was clear with me; He wanted to tame my tongue and showed me it would take planting the Word in my heart. I didn’t always yield, but He would prick my heart when I was about to speak my mind. He took it even further and showed me the motive behind my mouth stemmed from sins like anger or pride. Nevertheless, His grace was present.
From Fallow to Fruit
I needed to pull away from cussing, but I wasn’t ready yet. It was too hard, so I switched to the “darns” and “hecks” instead. Then I felt God pulling me away from those. Reluctantly, I obeyed. I created a word I could use, “cripe.” Yes, it was pretty hilarious. 🙂 After that, I felt God pulling me away from using my made-up word.
If something wrong came out of my mouth, right after I would repent to God, and say a verse that gave instructions for what I needed to be saying instead. He helped me tame my tongue through the power of the Holy Spirit.
My mouth is not 100% right 100% of the time, but I saw a lot of spiritual growth during that season. In place of speaking the way I had always done, I saw the fruit of love, peace, gentleness, etc. in my words popping up more and more.
So we need to allow the Husbandman to have His way in the garden of our heart. He will make a work of beautiful spiritual growth.
Have you ever had the Lord lead you to give up something a little at a time?
The Best Posts on Evidence of Spiritual Growth
I asked members of the Blogger Voices Network to share posts that have evidence of spiritual growth in their lives and they delivered! Check out these great reads:
How to Form Positive Spiritual Self-Care Habits by Anita Ojeda
Are You Growing by Aminata Coote at Hebrews12Endurance
If You Feel Like A Glitch by Meghan Weyerbacher at The Blogging Writer
When You Don’t Have Enough by Lesley at Life in the Spacious Place
Pathway: Keep Moving Toward the Light by Gayl S. Wright
A Time to Sow New Seeds by Sarah Geringer
The Masks We Wear: A Journey to Authenticity by Refreshing Moments with Sharon
How I am Learning the 7 Pillars of Wisdom by Anne at God Who Are YouCheck out the best posts from members of the Blogger Voices Network on Evidence of Spiritual Growth.
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