In this episode, we’re going to talk about a few more things that stand in the way of plowing up our ground and living in deeper intimacy and fellowship with the Lord. I’m going to call it, “Possessive Plow Syndrome.” These are places where we are holding the plow tightly, like we can do something in our own strength and still experience the power and presence of God in that place.
The Bible tells us that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. THat’s because repentance is intended to bring us back into an intimate fellowship with and enjoyment of the presence of the Lord Himself. When we respond to God’s conviction by turning back to Him rather than by running away from Him, we find that our relationship with Him is restored.
Throughout the previous episodes and in the coming ones, I refer to hearing God’s truth, receiving God’s healing, gaining God’s insights and wisdom. But in order to do that, we must be able to hear His voice and to recognize Him when He speaks.
That is what we are talking about today. We are talking about the reality that God still speaks, some of the main ways that He still speaks, and a few practices that I’ve found helpful in positioning myself to hear from and respond to Him.
These rocks get in the way of us receiving from the Lord all that He has for us. We cannot layer truths on top of these hurts because there isn’t any way for that truth to take root. These stones are only moved when we walk back over to them. We must place our hands on the rock-hard surface of our broken hearts and reach out in desperation for the hem of the Healer’s cloak.
The first practice of plowing that we’ll discuss is that of telling the Lord the whole truth. Jesus invites us into His presence and acknowledges our presence in His. “Who touched me?” He asked the woman in Mark 5:32, and she fell before Him and told Him the whole truth. Might we be bold enough to do the same?
Unplowed ground to the untrained eye always looks more pleasant!
Unplowed ground, however, isn’t prepared to sustain life. It isn’t prepared to receive from the Giver of Life. A good farmer knows that the condition of the soil is critical for the success of the crop.
In this episode, we’ll consider the state of the soil of our lives in light of the parable of the sower from Luke 8. Is our land packed hard with old habits, like a well-worn but infertile path? Are there rocks of disappointment, doubt, or disillusionment in these fields that need to be revisited and removed? Have thorns grown up and choked out the life that longs to live here?
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.
In episode 2, we will explore the idea of Bible study and the reason that I think it is so important. I will share with you about my approach to Bible study and why I thinks it is worth you (and my!) time. The Scriptures are not the only place that the Lord reveals Himself, but they must be the primary place that we seek Him. Otherwise, we won’t know how to recognize Him in the other facets of our lives. We must believe what He has revealed about Himself in His written word in order to more clearly understand Who it is we approach.