Hosea 10: 10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows. 11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods. 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. 13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
Until the last week or so it has been pretty dry. Weather is the usual first topic of conversation when people gather. Nita has been out more than once to break up the ground on some tomato plants we have behind the house. What would have happened if she didn’t do that? The plants probably would have died. This is happening spiritually all across the world. Christians in other countries have it much worse than we do. America needs to turn back to God, but I can’t preach to America. I can only talk to you.
The violence and reign of the devil has been awful. People have turned off God and a crust has formed around their heart. If we ever need to be soft and pliable it is now. The wicked are coming for your children. The devil is running over like a bulldozer and is largely unrestricted. There is the sin of indifference, a rut, a routine in the lives of Christians. As each day, week, and month goes by we don’t know how to deal with things. We keep the same habits and rituals; we come to church a little, read a couple of verses, and then live the way we want. That’s the mark of the Laodicean church age. Why? People don’t want to seek the Lord as they once did. Compared to how you used to be spiritually, are you now more humble? More faithful?
We have to keep fallow ground broken up. There is no room for indifference, for a reversal, or for being lukewarm. People are growing cold and getting away from God, away from the Word, away from the Spirit. With that comes dryness. We wonder why. We blame it on this and that when the windows of heaven seem to be shut. If you’ve lost your joy and feel yourself slipping away from the things of God, don’t blame me. By all means don’t blame God. Blame yourself. The only way you’ll survive spiritually is to break up the fallow ground. We need to break up our own fallow ground. God can do it but you may not want his hands to do it. This scripture tells us to do it ourselves. I need to do it. You need to do it.
Are you hard and crusty? Can you pray or not pray? Can you come to church or not come? I can’t change your heart but God can. He can bring the rain but it’s up to us. We must stand on our own and not try to put fault elsewhere. When you stand before God, he’ll ask you why you didn’t, not why I didn’t. We are responsible for our own relationship with God and each other. The devil always tries to blow hot air our way to dry us up. He wants us hardened with a crusty heart.
If you don’t work your garden the crust gets thicker and thicker and harder to break up. If your soul is cold and hard it means the barrier between you and God is getting thicker. There is no excuse. God wants to send blessings again. He wants your light to shine for him. He wants you happy with him, with each other and with the house of God. By getting in a rut you let your relationship with God suffer. There is no way I can break your habits. The only one who can do it is you. I have to break up mine and you yours. We need the daily rain of God to grow. Our spiritual life is on the line. If you allow crustiness and hardness and become indifferent you will be fruitless. It will result in a dead garden. Many great deserts we have today were once beautiful gardens. Now they are barren.
We had some left-over pizza in the fridge. The longer it sat in there the harder it got. We need our hardness, indifference, and shallowness broken up so we can be what God wants us to be. We can get so hard we strangle our soul to death.
If we sow in righteousness, we’ll reap mercy. It won’t be produced until the ground is broken up. Before our nation will see the mercy of God, his people have to return to him. Second Chronicles 7:14 states If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. If we want to be right with the Lord, if we want goodness and mercy, what do we do? Break up the fallow ground. It’s time to seek the Lord. Then he will come and rain righteousness upon you.
It’s time for me to do it. How about you? Don’t wait until it is too late. Soften yourself to the Lord.