Our Unplowed Ground—at least the way I’m defining it—are the parts of our lives that we are ignoring, that we are refusing to look at or deal with, that we are, inadvertently or intentionally, closing the Lord out of. They are parts of our hearts, our spirits, our lives that we have neglected. In many cases, what we have neglected is spending time with the Lord. But don’t you think for one second that what we’re going to do here is heap guilt and shame upon ourselves for forsaking the “quiet times” that we know we should be having.
Sometimes we’ve forsaken the field because we don’t know what to do with it.
Sometimes we’ve gotten busy and neglected these lands.
Sometimes we’ve gotten frustrated or disappointed and decided that the upkeep wasn’t worth it.
What I want to do together here is to explore some of the reasons that we’ve neglected these grounds—some of the reasons we’ve walked away (and we can walk away emotionally while continuing to go through the motions)… And then, seeking the Lord’s guidance and begging Him for the intervention of His Spirit, we will begin to look at some practical aspects of plowing—we will consider ways to spend time seeking the Lord and breaking up this ground.
Invitation to Respond:
Here are three practical things we can start today to incorporate a little more discipline into our lives:
Decide to spend time daily seeking God. There’s nothing magic about a “quiet time,” and we’re not earning anything by spending time with Him. But spending intentional, set-aside time seeking Him does position us to recognize Him more quickly when He moves in our lives. This time can look different for all of us and it will look different for each of us on different days.
If you need a place to start, set a Bible by your bed, and read through the gospel of Luke. Watch Jesus walk around this world.
Read a chapter when you wake up or when you get in bed at night.
If you miss a day, wake up and start again the next.
Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. Worship music helps me with this one. Is there a worship song from a time when you felt nearer to the Lord? Play it occasionally to remind your spirit of what you know to be true of your Faithful Father. (In case you can’t think of one, I’ll share mine — “Goodness of God” by Bethany Barnard.)
Gather with other believers. I don’t care if it’s in church or in a small group or around the break room at lunch. Pick a day. Pick a time. Call a friend. Speak with others about what God is doing in your life. Pray for each other. Know each other’s families. Keep each other’s kids or pets or plants. We are not meant to till these fields alone. Keep showing up. Make it a priority instead of a last resort.