9/18/16 “BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND” – Pastor Shane Idleman
Complete Sermon Notes
INTRO: Just like farmers have to prepare the ground to bear fruit, we must prepare our hearts to receive from God.
Land was allowed to lie fallow that it might become more fruitful; but when in this condition, it soon became overgrown with thorns and weeds [COMFORTABLE]. The cultivator of the soil was careful to “break up” his fallow ground, i.e., to clear the field of weeds, before sowing seed in it. So says the prophet, “Break off your evil ways, repent of your sins, cease to do evil, and then the good seed of the word will have room to grow and bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 4:3, “Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, And take away the foreskins of your hearts.”
Hosea 10:12, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
Joshua 3:5, “And Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you’.”
PREPARED: to make something ready for use. Doctors are prepared. Teachers are prepared. Parents try to be prepared.
KIDS in service – your parents are PREPARING you
Christians need to prepare – breaking, sowing, sanctifying.
Farmer – Grant said, “We rely on fallowed ground for the land to rest and save moisture for an entire year, it takes 14 inches of water to grow a crop and fallowed ground allows us to save that. But then it must be tilled and prepared for the subsequent crop. It is usually hard and dry, and there is moisture about 4 inches down. Tillage breaks up the soil (fallowed ground) and allows for the seed to be planted again and brings the moisture up.”
GOD will restore and renew and rebuild – the seed was planted again.
Breaking Up The Fallowed Ground controls weeds and cleans the soil. “So basically, fallowed ground is ground that needs to be rested before a crop can be grown but it also must be broken and prepared.”
Breaking up the fallow ground cleans the heart, renews the Spirit, and strengthens our walk.
We want a deeper relationship – we want to receive from God – we want to grow, but…WE MUST PREPARE THE SOIL OF OUR HEART
If we learn anything from the Old Testament, we learn that the followed ground was not broken up – disobedience lead to delay and disappointment.
The ground is positioned to receive…ARE YOU?
What Are You Sowing – The moisture received during the fallow period is stored for future use.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
The deceptiveness of sin is that you will reap a fruitful harvest.
Prepare to Receive – dig, stir, remove, and overturn.
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it…
Remove the weeds – the things that compete for the nourishment.
Remove the rocks – the things that get in the way.
Rain is Complete Immersion – COMPARE: rain on concrete or rain on tilled soil
Isaiah 45:8 [NLT – commentary scripture] Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the LORD, created them.
Seek Until He Comes – For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
We’ll wait months for a home to close escrow, years for a dream vacation, and a lifetime for retirement, but….
Are you bored with God – do you lack interest?
There are two competing hunger. You have to be thirsty.
Reap In Mercy
Mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Grace: the free and unmerited favor of God
Kids – this is why we say God loves you.
Parents – you need to hear this too.
WE can’t be reminded enough about God’s mercy and grace: