Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Breaking Ground

When I was thinking about starting a blog, one of my biggest concerns was the title. I racked my brain trying to think of something that spoke to me. I wanted something that jumped out at you; something that made you think, "Why did she pick that title?" And I also wanted something that was biblically related.

There is a local Christian group (which I love) and their name is "Breaking Ground." And, yes, they have Hosea 10:12 as their title verse. I didn't really copy their name intentionally. It just kind of happened that way.

One night, as I was reading through Hosea, I came across verse 12:

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.

It just spoke to me. I thought it was the perfect title because God has broken a lot of ground in my heart and life in the past couple of years.

For me, the title speaks of personal experience and longing. Longing for the fallow ground of my heart to be broken up so God can rain His righteousness down on me.

Strong's Concordance defines fallow as "freshly plowed land." Land is allowed to lie fallow so it will become more fruitful. When it is in this condition, it quickly becomes overgrown with thorns and weeds. The cultivator of the land must be careful to clear the field of weeds before sowing seed in it.

Charles Finney answers the question of what it means to break up our fallow ground. He says:

To break up the fallow ground, is to break up your hearts, to prepare your minds to bring forth fruit unto God. The mind of man is often compared to the ground in the bible. The word of God is the seed sown there, the fruit representing the actions and emotions of those who receive it. To break up the fallow ground therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state that it is fitted to receive the Word of God. Sometimes your hearts get matted down, hard and dry, until there is no such thing as getting fruit from them until they are broken up, and mellowed down, and fitted to the Word. It is this softening of the heart, so as to make it feel the truth, which the prophet calls break up your fallow ground.

God has exposed so many opinions, views, and beliefs I held that were not in line with what the Bible says. We often form opinions or beliefs about things and never search God's word to see what He might have to say. Culture, society, and even religion shape and mold so much of what we believe and we don't even realize it. Our hearts do get hard and dry to what Scripture actually says about many issues because we aren't willing to examine them in light of Scripture.

How do we break up this fallow ground? Again, Finney says:

If you mean to break up the fallow ground of your hearts, you must begin by looking at your hearts: examine and note the state of your minds, and see where you are. Many never seem to think about this. They pay no attention to their own hearts, and never know whether they are doing well in religion or not; whether they are gaining ground or going back; whether they are fruitful, or lying waste.

To do all this, you must set yourself to work to consider your sins. You must examine yourselves.

Self-examination consists in looking at your lives, in considering your actions, in calling up the past, and learning its true character. Look back over your past history. Take up your individual sins one by one, and look at them.

It's never easy to examine ourselves; our actions, attitudes, and intentions but that's what we must do to prepare our hearts for His word and His work. The breaking process wasn't and isn't easy. I stumble and fall and resort back to old thoughts and patterns daily, but His mercies are new every morning. I'm slowly learning to lean on Him through it all. Learning to recognize areas that I'm trying to go it alone, instead of letting His grace and love lead me.

You see, I want to have a teachable spirit. I want to be conformed to the image of Jesus. I want people to see Jesus in me. For others to see the fruit of the Spirit. If things in my life don't line up with the Bible, I want to change those things. Phooey on the popular trends, latest psychology, or cultural and religious norm. I don't care if every one else is doing things another way. If it means persecution or ridicule, so be it. It's temporal. I need to focus on the eternal, for that's what really matters.

My prayer is that God would reveal areas of my heart that need breaking and that I would allow Him full reign over every area of my life.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a little behind on checking your blog...but this was a great post Jennifer...very challenging and thought-provoking...