For thus says the Lord…”Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.” Jeremiah 4:3
Gardeners and farmers know what happens when soil is left alone for too long. It returns to it’s previous state and becomes hard, full of weeds, and difficult to work with.
Jeremiah 4:3 is not a farming tip from God. It is a call to His people, whose hearts have become hardened like fallow ground. He is commanding them to break away from whatever is causing their hearts to be hard and return to being receptive and productive.
So outside of willfully entering into blatant sin, how does the heart of a christian become fallow?
Let’s admit it, life gets busy and many of us are distracted and over committed. We often find ourselves struggling to get it all done with very little time, if any, to simply enjoy rest and relaxation. We have unwittingly created or allowed a neglectful lifestyle. And spending time in God’s word often becomes a casualty.
The word of God is life giving nourishment for the christian’s soul. It plants God’s desires into our heart. It waters our spirit so that we grow and become more like Christ and less like ourselves – producing inviting fruit. Without it our spirit becomes weak and our desire toward the things of God begins to wither and wilt away. If neglected and deprived long enough our spiritual life will go dormant and the ground of sensitivity towards the things of God will become hard and unresponsive – making us fallow ground – empty, stagnant, and unproductive. Our witness and testimony becomes unattractive and ineffective – (sowing amongst the thorns). And who wants to put their hands into a pile of thorns to retrieve something that doesn’t appear to benefit them?
If you are feeling like your spiritual life is drying up and your zeal and sensitivity towards the things of God is all but a spark. Be encouraged. You can once again become fertile ground. Take time to come back to the life giving source that nourishes your soul by reading God’s word. Don’t worry about how long or how much you need to read, just start. Before you know it your soul will be fed and your heart will become soft and sensitive to God’s desires.
Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…“ Matthew 9:37.
We can’t be laborers if our feet are stuck in dry harden mud.