How’s Your Heart-Soil?
by: Michael Woods | July 23, 2017
Life happens in seasons. It is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, hills and valleys. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this in my relationship with the Jesus.
On some days I wake up and I can’t wait to greet the Lord and give my day to him. Other days, I’m so overwhelmed with things I need to do that God doesn’t even cross my mind.
Other days, the first thought on my mind is, “Breakfast.”
Sometimes, my heart changes from day to day. That’s part of life. We wake up to discover that the “soil” of our heart is different today than it was yesterday, even though we aren’t doing anything differently. In our lives, we are called to till the ground of our hearts at all times, every day. If today happens to be a difficult day, we’ll need more than a pep talk and positive thinking, more than just psyching ourselves up and saying, “Okay, I can do this!
What we need is real work; the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
What the “Parable of the Soils” (Mark 4:1-20) calls for is one of the most important tasks of your spiritual life: ongoing soil analysis.
Each day analyzing:
What kind of soil have I prepared?
What am I lacking?
What changes do I need to make in order to be more receptive to God’s call and grace in my own life?
The task of tilling the ground of your heart is going to be different every day. And every day, you’ll need to honestly confront the soil in your heart and cultivate it.
It’s not easy. Keeping your heart receptive to the gospel is a lot like gardening.
How do you do this? Two ways:
Allow God’s Word to Diagnose Your Hard Heart. God has given us a tool to use as we seek to understand our hearts, namely, his word. Remember Hebrews 4:12-13; The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. As we read, pray, meditate on, study, and hear preaching of the word we will continue to get glimpses of our true selves.
Pull the Weeds of Sin Immediately from Your Heart. We need to make a conscious effort to weed the sin out in our lives. Removing sin is hard work – and the work is never done. Every day of neglect makes the task harder. I am not talking about simply changing behavior. Jesus often uses the imagery of “tree’s and their fruit.” The point is that the type of fruit that emerges tells you the type of tree. You discover that a desire is sinful when it produces bad fruit in your life.
Of course, this responsibility doesn’t mean that you are totally on your own when it comes to tilling the garden of your heart. You have the body of Christ, God’s Word, and most importantly, you have the Holy Spirit.
Present yourself to the Lord daily, offering whatever type of soil you have. Ask for His wisdom and help to till the garden of your heart as you seek to receive His Word with gladness.
You may feel fainthearted today — weary in your faith and work. If so, take time to slow down, rest and allow the Holy Spirit to restore your heart to wholeness.
Photo by Kyle Ellefson on UnSplash