Cultivating the Soil

Luke 8:15 (TPT), “The seed that fell into good, fertile soil represents those lovers of truth who hear it deep within their hearts. They respond by clinging to the word, keeping it dear as they endure all things in faith. This is the seed that will one day bear much fruit in their lives.”

Hello friends! I pray you are well and staying healthy and safe these days. I wanted to share a little something that I’ve been meditating on for several weeks now and I pray it encourages you. In Luke, chapter 8, we hear of the parable of the farmer sowing seeds onto different types of soil. I’ve heard it preached and read it numerous times. But in this season of my life, it just hit a little differently. Over the last year, there have been many decisions and experiences that we’ve had to make and walk through and at times it has been exasperating. As I was reading in Luke about this parable this statement in my study Bible stuck out to me like a neon sign...THE YIELD IS DETERMINED BY THE CONDITION OF THE SOIL. My eyes stay fixed on this statement and I read it over and over again. It was like a literal seed was dropped into my heart in that moment and over the last several weeks that seedling has grown into a true blessing for me, a picture unfolding of how God works within us when our hearts are ready to receive.

I felt like the Lord was saying to me, it’s not the goal or the dream that the enemy will attack, its the process of preparing for it is where he’ll fight you. It’s the cultivating of the soil of your heart that is his target. Fertile soil is a threat to the enemy because fertile soil produces fruit. Fruitfulness restricts the enemy so he will inhibit the cultivating process at all costs. If he can prevent the cultivating process, the seedlings will never take root. Let’s go on a little farming journey, would you join me?

When a farmer prepares the fields for planting he tills up the soil. He goes in and turns over the soil, uprooting any old roots that remained from a previous crop and kills weeds that will choke out the desired fruit. He digs down to get the nutrients of the soil to the top so that the environment is ready to receive the seedlings. The same is true for our hearts. If we carry around wounds and pain from our previous experiences, it will choke out the new fruit God is trying to produce in us. We have to be diligent to put truth into our heart to choke out lies from the enemy. We must keep our hearts pure because the fruit we produce, good or bad, will grow from that soil.

Once the seedlings are scattered those that are enveloped into the healthy soil begin to immediately take root. The roots grow down deep first before there is any evidence of growth that is visible. The farmer never considers or counts his final harvest at this stage, he just continues to nurture….continues to water, continues to fertilize, continues to monitor. We can’t walk away from the process before we see fruit. Sometimes, as God is working within us, the fruit is only visible to Him. It takes times for us and others to see and benefit from the work God is doing on the inside. This I know…nothing is wasted, the times when we feel there is no fruit from our prayers, from our work, from our faithfulness…it’s just the roots establishing depth to sustain what is about to break through. The fruit will come and we will appreciate the process on the other side.

When the seedlings begins to sprout, it isn’t done yet. It’s still maturing, it’s still growing, it’s too young for the fruit to be eaten and or even seen still. But there is viable progress. We can’t think we are done with the first signs of bloom. When the plant is growing, the roots are deep and fruit begins to bud, be patient because the maturing process is necessary for the fruit to be appealing and useable. Picking the fruit too early could ruin the entire plant, it wastes the prep work because the fruit is too immature to be used for the nourishment of anyone. Through maturity, the best qualities of the fruit helps the plants around it, nourishes those who take it in and prepares the soil for future plants. Likewise, I was reminded in this season, to be patient and gracious with myself, to rest in Him and trust the process of maturation.

A farmer must also pay close attention to the readiness of the fruit being produced. Leaving fruit on for too long, will become enlarged, sometimes bursting and filling the soil around it with toxins. It’s bitter and abrasive to the palette and the nutrients have been depleted. Ideally good fruit for us and for others is about timing. An experienced farmer knows when the fruit is at its best and instinctively begins the process for its distribution. In the same way, the Lord knows exactly when and how to share the fruit he has been maturing within us to bless us and those around us. Don’t run ahead and don’t stay sedentary too long. Trust His timing and stay in step with His Holy Spirit, you’ll then know the steps to take and when to take them. He’ll make it clear. The yield is determined by the condition of the soil...remember that :). God Bless!

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Erin L.A. Jones

Thoughts on life, leadership and pursuing your God-given destiny!

Lysa TerKeurst

Thoughts on life, leadership and pursuing your God-given destiny!

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