Scripture: Hosea 10:12
"Sow for yourselves righteousness, 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 righteousness on you."
From Pastor Keith
I’m going to throw you a change-up this morning. I was reading from "The Best of A.W. Tozer" (pp. 239-240, edited) and felt moved to share a portion of it in place of Mark’s article as we continue to pray and fast for a fresh move of God.
There are two kinds of ground: Fallow ground and ground that has been broken up by the plow.
The fallow ground is smug, contented, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow. Safe and undisturbed, it sprawls lazily in the sunshine, the picture of sleepy contentment. But it is paying a terrible price for its tranquility: Never does it see the miracle of growth; never does it feel the motions of mounting life nor see the wonders of bursting seed nor the beauty of ripening grain. Fruit it can never know because it is afraid of the plow and the harrow.
In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken, but its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its miracle of life. All over the field the hand of God is at work in the age-old and ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow, mature, and consummate the grand prophecy latent in the seed when it entered the ground. Nature’s wonders follow the plow.
There are two kinds of lives also: The fallow and the plowed. For examples of the fallow life we need not go far. They are all too plentiful among us. The man of fallow life is contented with himself and the fruit he once bore. He does not want to be disturbed. He smiles in tolerant superiority at revivals, fasting, self-searchings, and all the travail of fruit bearing and the anguish of advance. The spirit of adventure is dead within him. The curse of such a life is that it is fixed, both in size and content. To be has taken the place of to become. He has fenced himself in, and by the same act, he has fenced out God and the miracle.
The plowed life is the life that has, in the act of repentance, thrown open the protecting fences and sent the plow of confession into the soul. The urge of the Spirit, the pressure of circumstances and the distress of fruitless living have combined to humble the heart. Such a life has put away defense, and has forsaken the safety of death to the peril of life. Discontent, yearning, contrition, courageous obedience to the will of God: these have bruised and broken the soil till it is ready again for the seed. And as always, fruit follows the plow. Life and growth begin as God “rains down righteousness.” Such a one can testify, “And the hand of the Lord was upon me there.”
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