This week while chatting with a friend I was reminded of an exercise that I had previously participated in called “breaking up the fallow ground”.
We always have a tendency to forget the things that the Lord gives us to share with others is sometimes something that we as individuals need to pay close attention to as well.
Wow…that was a mouth full. I hope you get what I’m attempting to convey here?
If not…here it is again. We need to take part in some of the things that God the Holy Spirit gives us to share with others.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget that.
So back to breaking up the fallow ground.
What is Breaking up Fallow Ground?
Well to understand what fallow ground is you have to put yourself in the place of a farmer or one that cultivates crops for a living.
So, to sum it up without being too wordy. Fallow ground is ground that was once used to plant a crop of some sort. But that portion of land had been left unattended and has become hard and implantable.
Therefore if the land is to be used again it must be tilled and the soil must be softened or broken up again before it can receive the seed.
You see that’s how God chose to give us a picture of our hearts through the prophet Hosea.
Hosea 10:12 put it this way“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes and rain righteousness on you”.
The Lord Jesus also gave us a picture of this in the parable of the sower. The Lord gives us four distinct pictures of the human heart and the way that lives can be played out for lack of a better term.
The portion of the parable that best fit the fallow ground is the portion where the Lord tells us about the stony ground. This is where the seed was sown but didn’t have the proper soil so it could not catch root or the roots could not go deep enough to continue and grow.
God wants to take out the heart of stone.
Through the prophet Ezekiel the Lord said that He wants to replace the heart of stone with a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26.
It’s pretty amazing how God has promised to take care of the soil of the human heart and the natural soil of the land as well. But more on that in another study if the Lord wills.
Making the ground ready for planting.
Getting the field or ground ready for planting is hard. I mean it’s a scary and painful thing to dig up the past. And if you didn’t know yet that breaking up the fallow ground of your heart is digging up past sins and presents sins in your life and truly repenting of them…
And not only that…it’s asking God to clean up what we have messed up.
But after all, is said and done in the spiritual exercise of breaking up the fallow ground, God has promised to give us the opportunity to sow to ourselves in righteousness.
I kid you not though, when this exercise is done in an honest and heartfelt way, it will likely give one a new lease on life.
I have had the opportunity to do it twice in the time that God has given me on the planet. And I tell you each time I sense the change and I truly experienced the glory of the Lord upon my life. And you will also.
So where do we start?
My brother, my sister in Christ if you have never experienced God in a way that’s been absolutely amazing you are definitely about to embark on the most profound journey of your God-given life.
But one thing that I have to remind you of as well. And it is that you must remember that our God and Savior loves you and me so much that hung on a tree to prove it.
I say that because if you are reading this now it’s because God is meeting with you this very moment, and He desires to strengthen the relationship between the two of you.
Also, this is definitely going to bring about some sadness and for some a little fear to continue on with the exercise.
Be of good cheer beloved God the Holy Spirit is with you every step of the way. As He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you.
Now let’s get busy…
To get started with breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts we must first do as the scriptures tell us in the Proverbs. “Prepare thy work in the field and the build your house. Proverbs 24:27
Four things needed to get started:
1. You need a Bible or access to the Word of God. Phone app, Tablet etc.
2. A good writing tool.
3. A pad or lots of clean paper to write on.
4. A quiet place where you can be alone with God, so the Holy Spirit can speak to you and bring to remembrance the things that need to be addressed.
Oh, and another thing and I guess you can call this the fifth thing. Be sure to give yourself at least one hour of the day and for some at least 3 days to (1) one week to do the exercise.
So what do you do with the scriptures besides read them you ask? Well, once you are in that quiet place alone with God you pray them.
And specifically Psalms 139:23-24.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Yep, let that be your main prayer each time you set out to participate in the fallow ground exercise.
Now just so that you are clear on what to expect as do this exercise.
You need to be ready to write down every sin that the Holy Spirit brings to your remembrance, no matter how small or how grievous you consider them to be. Write them all down each hour each day.
As I warned you before get ready to be amazed in a very profound way. And like I said earlier if you have never heard the Lord speak to your spirit brace yourself because you are definitely in for the ride of your life.
Well, that’s about all I have for you on this. From my side that is. But here is something that I recently discovered that can give you a more in-depth understanding as to what to do and expect.
What makes an Apostle in the 21st-century church? And are there really any Apostles in the Church today?
The Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostles of the 1st-century church, that there would be false prophets and false teachers.
If you have been paying attention, you should be able to recognize that there are many that are seeking glory for themselves and not that of the Lords.
We have people giving themselves titles such apostle this…and bishop that. The bible clearly states that how can they go except they are sent?Romans 10:15
There are a lot of Christians that are in the category of the one that went and have not been sent…if you know what I mean?
In the Church today we have as the scriptures promised increased knowledge in the earth. Daniel 12:4 Not only is this knowledge prevalent in secular society, but also in the things of God which is truly the most important of all things.
Could this be why so many are so quick to give themselves titles of recognition? It’s as though the people of God are trying to make disciples of themselves and not disciples of the Lord Jesus who is blessed forever.
What does the Sculpture Say?
Before I give you my answer to the question of “are there really any Apostles in the Church today? Let me just say that just because someone gives themselves a title that doesn’t match the true call of God for the life that He has purposed for them… it does not mean that I am saying that they are all bad.
Have you ever heard this saying? “Men at there best, are men at best”.
We all have holes in our theology, and as the scriptures teach us that we all prophesy in part and we know in part. So, in layman’s terms, this means that we all lack knowledge and understanding of the things of God. No exceptions.
Iron can sharpen Iron…
Let’s look at this verse of scripture. In the letter to the Church at Ephesus, The Apostle Paul penned these words Ephesians 4:11. “He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”.
What is an Apostle?
Apostle: noun [Latin apostalus; Gr. to send away, to send.]
A person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel.
As human beings, most of us believe that our identity is in the titles that we give to ourselves or that others may place upon us. That is until we learn that our identity is hidden in Christ. Colossians 3:3
Let me give you an example of what I’m referring to about identity.
Think of someone that you know…
They could be a cook, a bus driver or they could even be a doctor. If someone were to ask them who they are most of them would identify themselves by their occupation. Hence, I’m a cook, I’m a bus driver or I’m a doctor.
You get what I mean. Right?
We can call ourselves whatever we want to.
Yes, it’s true we can call ourselves whatever we want to…but it doesn’t mean it fits who we are and what we have been called to do in the Church of Jesus Christ who is blessed forever and ever.
By the definition that you have read above any of us in the body of Christ can technically call ourselves apostle this… and apostle that. I say that because we all have been commissioned to share the Gospel of Christ. Mathew 28:19-20.
But would it be the truth according to the call upon one’s life that God has purposed? And would it be what the Holy Spirit whom distributes gifts throughout the body of Christ as He will have determined according to the power and grace of God? 1st Corinthians 12:11
You see I can call myself a Doctor of Psychology, and yet without the proper training in the medicine of Psychology, it would be a lie.
The three things that the Apostles of the 1st Century Church had in common.
1. They all saw the Lord Jesus physically with their own eyes.
2. They all witnessed the resurrection of Christ. Even the Apostle Paul experienced a personal encounter with the Lord on his journey to Damascus.
3. They all personally received The Great Commission from the Lord Jesus himself. Mathew 28:19-20, Acts 9:4-5
Jesus has not changed, He remains the same
If you were to ask some Christians about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, many of them would give you a list of the ones that they believe to be in effect for the 21st-Century Church and those that are not.
Let me be honest with you…
When I set out to write this article my intention was to debunk the possibility of an apostolic calling of God in the church today.
However, after doing some much-needed research and being helped and reminded of a few things by the precious Holy Spirit of God I can no longer do such a thing. John 14:26.
So, what was I reminded of?
I’m glad you asked…
I was reminded that the Bible teaches us that Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. Hebrews 13:8
So, you say what does that have to do with someone calling themselves an apostle? Well, it goes back to the verse that you read earlier which said that “He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”.
Now ask yourself this question, are there still prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church today?
The answer is yes.
Again, I was reminded that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. And in another place, the scripture teaches that when that which is complete has come that which is in part shall be done away.
Has that which is complete arrived yet? No, of course not, that will not happen until the day that our Lord Jesus returns.
Here is how I will rest my Case
There are a few more things that the apostles of the 1st-Century Church shared. I will only touch on one at this time though. And yet I believe that if anyone today wishes to label themselves as an Apostle of the 21st Century Church they must meet this criterion.
Are You A Church Planter or a Missionary?
Ok, that just about sums it up don’t you think? I have always loved missionary work. To me, that is the greatest work that one can be called to do. Hey, you can call it Church Planter or you can call them Missionaries, but from now on if you are not doing the work of the Lord in this manner… Pleases do not call yourself an Apostle.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible refers to wisdom as a woman in the book of Proverbs? I have…and that’s why I say every man needs a godly woman. A godly woman is an enormous treasure for any man to acquire.
Say unto wisdom, you are my sister!
Not every boy growing up has the joy and sometimes pain of having a big sister.
Big sisters are a unique treasure in the lives of some boys when they are growing up. Although sometimes it’s not recognized or appreciated until some years later in one’s life.
Listen, men, if you have a big sister or even a younger sister, treasure her.
But that’s not what I will be writing about in this article. So, let me get back to the question that I asked earlier in the article.
“Have you ever wondered why God refers to wisdom as a woman in the Proverbs”?
Take a look at this verse for example.
Say to wisdom,”You are my sister”, and call understanding a close relative, so that they may keep you from the adulterous woman, from the loose woman who flatters you with her words. Proverbs 7:4-5
I’m not sure if you have realized this or not, but I have found through the years that outside of Jesus, women are the greatest gift to mankind that God has graced us with.
Now I also realize that you may be saying to yourself that I must be absolutely crazy for saying something like that in the public arena. But please bear with me for a moment. I think I’m going somewhere with this.
A thought about why wisdom and women go hand in hand.
Okay, think about this with me… Now, this is really to be looked at from a male perspective though. But ladies I believe that you will like this as well. So, please keep reading…
Here’s the scenario. If two people were making the same presentation of something in a room filled full of men and one of the presenters were male and the other was a beautiful looking female. You get where I’m going already don’t you?
So, who do you think would get the most attention? I know I don’t have to answer that.
Wisdom and Sisters
Let me just tell you how this thing plays out in my own mind about wisdom and women. You see, here is what comes to my mind when I think about why God personifies wisdom as a sister or a woman. And truly there are a few things that I want to point out or express to you.
I believe God sees it this way, at least for men anyway. And that is if you get the women the men will follow. Okay. think about this… When Jesus rose from the grave who was there first? And who did he send first to tell others that He had risen? Yep, women.
Now, speaking of wisdom and sisters. This is something that I had the privilege of experiencing personally. My sister was the oldest of us children. It was six of us. Yeah, you may have guessed 1 girl and 5 boys. She was the boss of us all.
As a big sister, she would always do a once over of all of our so-called girlfriends and for the most part, she was usually right when it came to being a judge of character as it pertained to our female friends…
So you can see why I can relate to this thing about wisdom being a sister. I mean most of us as men ought to have sense enough to know by now that if you want to know something about a woman you need to ask a woman. Duh…
Wisdom, godly woman, or both?
Listen, there is no question we all need both. Especially us men. We, men, hate to admit it, but we are slow learners for the most part. God tells us to call wisdom “our sister”. And understanding a close female relative.
Why does he say that? Well, He tells us in the next verse when He lets us know that only a wise sister can keep you from the adulterous woman, from the loose woman who flatters you with her words. Proverbs 7:5
There is a loose and adulterous woman waiting on every corner searching for someone to trick and trick with.
She’s just waiting to bat those big eyes at the unsuspecting. And she’s looking for the right time to spit venom between your eyes to blind you and keep you from seeing what she is really about.
Her words are enticing, so when she tells you that she loves you, please don’t believe her. She loves no one… Not even herself.
Get to know wisdom and be sure it’s God’s wisdom. Know her as your sister and know understanding as your close relative. They are the only ones that you can fully trust. And remember this. Every man needs a godly woman and he needs to be sure that her name is wisdom.
Hey, friend, I’m really hoping that you are reading this because of the title “Is This a Teaching Moment, Or What”? And I hope that it is such a catchy title that it compelled you to click to see what I was talking about or in this case writing about.
Well, this article will be a teaching moment and my hopes are that during these few moments that we will be sharing together will be enlightening for you as well for me.
My deepest desire is to at least drop a seed in your heart that will cause an increase of discernment in how you and I are handling the things of God.
On Monday, March 5, 2018, I posted one of the most simple and yet most profound posts that I ever have and ever will on the Facebook social media website. At least, in my opinion, it was and still is.
The post inserts simply read…”Glorify GOD and Him only”.
Hold on tight, I’m about to get to why or what inspired me to post this particular command… So, please keep reading.
Could it be that we have been desensitized already?
What I’m about to share is the seed that I wish to deposit in your thinking and in your heart. This is something that if I were a betting man…I would be willing to bet that the majority of those of us who profess to be Christians and followers of Jesus don’t even see this as a problem.
Listen, friend, I must emphasize that this is a huge problem in the body of Christ.
Before I go further, I have a question for you.
Have you ever heard anyone make this statement? Or maybe you have thought it or said these words once or twice yourself. I know I have in the past.
So, Have you ever heard someone say…”Man, it Doesn’t Take All That”. Have you ever said it thought it? As I stated, I have. This very statement and way of thinking about the things of God have gotten us to where we are as a body of believers to this day.
It has caused us to be desensitized to the most subtle things of God and has blinded us to the fact that we are glorifying the things Satan more than we are Glorifying and promoting the things of God our Father and creator of all good things.
How do we glorify Satan more than we glorify God?
That’s a really good question and it really deserves an immediate answer. So, here it is.
Well, you see loved ones we glorify Satan more than we glorify God on social media, in our personal lives, by the things we say, and when we rebel against God.
There are a lot of ways that we as believers do this. But I’m going to stick to social media in this article, mainly because that’s where most of us hang out and where I have witnessed this type of activity spiral out of control.
Which one of these are you likely to share?
I think a better question is this… Are you going to share this article with your friends and family on social media or are you going to say “Man it doesn’t take all that”?
Here’s is an easier way to get your heart and mind around what I’m saying though.
Below are two example post that could be posted on Facebook or any other social media platform for that matter.
For an example, let’s just say that I posted this:
Please Like my page here at http://IloveJesus.com
Okay here’s another example:
Teen beats up his parents and locks them in the basement for 48 hrs with no food or water.
Also, let’s just pretend that there’s a video of the police catching him and he ( the teen) puts up a fight with the police.
See the full article here at http://fightingteen.com
Which of these two articles are you most likely to see people telling others that they need to see this?
Choose who you’re going to serve
So, I really don’t have to tell you which one of these would get passed all over facebook or other social media outlets do I? Of course, I don’t. But you-you are getting the point right? Are you seeing anything wrong with this?
But, more importantly, are you able to see that this type of sharing glorifies the enemy of our souls more than it glorifies the things of God?
Listen, friend, I’ll be the first to admit that these aren’t the best example to portray on this subject. But let me leave you with this thought… And please ask yourself this very important question. Am I glorifying God with the stuff that I’m posting and sharing on social media?
So picture this one also…I had a photo sent through the messenger app of a crazy person allowing herself to be photographed holding a gun to a toddler’s head.
Now, why do you think she allowed her picture to be taken?Yeah, you guessed it…She was being used by the devil and she didn’t even know it.
But the devil’s trickwas so that it could be passed about social media by people who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. And by believers that are not even hip to the fact that God states in his word that He detests feet that are swift to run into mischief and gossips.
What it comes down to is this. There are only two choices for us all. God or the Devil. Choose who you will serve. We need to stop giving the workers of iniquity more publicity than they deserve and let’s become more sensitive to the wholesome things of God and pass it around a whole lot more.
After this manner, pray are the words that the Lord Jesus uttered before He proceeded to give us what we as believers know and recognize to be The Lords Prayer found in The Gospel of Mathew 6:9-13 and also in Luke 11:2-4.
Most of us have heard comments concerning this prayer and some even say that the Lord Jesus didn’t mean for us to pray this prayer verbatim and that He (Jesus) only gave us these words to be used as a model or a pattern of what prayer to our Holy Father should resemble.
Here’s the thing though… just about everybody that I have heard making this statement, never seem to get around to expounding on or giving you and I an expository teaching to help us along.
I’m not about to get into a theological debate about the matter… but, what I will say, is this. And it is that if this is the only prayer that one may know to pray in his or her early stages of Christianity…
Well, by all means, we shouldn’t discourage people from doing so.
The scripture teaches us that if we pray anything in God’s will, He here’s us. 1st John 5:14
The Purpose Or Take-Away From This Mornings Lesson.
So, this morning by the grace of the Lord Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit I wish to impart some gift to you concerning prayer and your intimacy with God our Father.
If the Lord permits me too, I’m going to go through each verse of this prayer pattern the Lord has given to us and share how the Holy Spirit has taught me to incorporate other passages of scripture using this pattern to become more efficient, specific and relevant when praying.
No Prayer, No Power.
Please don’t be misled…It is through prayer that we come into the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Look at Colossians 1:9
Prayer must become our lifestyle. We can’t afford to go on just letting prayer be something that we do when we are in trouble, and expect God to wave his hand and the trouble is gone.
Nor, can it any longer be something that we do when we just want the things of this world from God either. But as I have stated… Prayer has to become a lifestyle and for the most part a secret lifestyle. Listen, Jesus said it this way. When you pray, pray to the Father in secret and He will reward us openly.Mathew 6:6
Am I saying that all prayer should and must be done in secret? The answer is no… See Solomon’s prayer in 1st Kings 8:22
Yet I do believe that without that time of secrecy with God, we will never develop an intimate, effectual and fervent lifestyle of prayer.
I tend to agree with Hank Hanegraaff when he says that the secret too prayer is “Secret Prayer”.
For those of you who are not familiar with Hank Hanegraaff, he is known as the bible answer man, he’s an accomplished Christian Book Author and radio talk show host.
And let us keep in mind that prayer is to bring us into conformity with God’s will, not to bring God into the conformity of ours. A proper and effective life of prayer must begin with honoring and glorifying God and it most certainly must end with honoring and glorifying God.
Intimacy, Adoration, Worship, Reverence, Dependency, Surrender and Exaltation.
Listen, saints when we pray the Lord’s prayer we touch on every type of petition needed for our daily lives. We begin with worship, we ask God for guidance, we yield to our Fathers will, we ask for petitions, we ask for forgiveness, we seek victory over sin and we also find ourselves in spiritual warfare in which we ask for protection from the wicked one the devil.
Three Levels of The Lord’s Prayer.
There are noticeably three levels of the Lord’s Prayer.
First, there is the “lip level” which mean we let our petitions flow over our lips, whether softly spoken or prayed out loud. The ‘lip level” focuses our mind and bodies.
The second dimension is the “mind level” when we pray the Lord’s Prayer inwardly. This is when we can pray the Lord’s Prayer when we are doing a task that requires little to no thought—it’s whenever our minds belong to us. Note: We should get into the practice of filling it (our minds with God) Refer to Isaiah 26:3.
Third, there is the “heart level”. This is the cry of intimate passion or deep love. This kind of passionate prayer is usually and should be done privately because the face most often reflects the heart. This is why God wants us to exercise self-control because it’s not always appropriate to cry, smile or laugh in all places or on all occasions. Ecclesiastes 3:4
It is very important to pray at all three levels.
Decide how you’re going to begin to incorporate the Lord’s Prayer into your daily routine when the alarm goes off in the morning. On your commute to work, while you’re at work, and in your private time.
Commit this The Lord’s Prayer to memory and begin to meditate on each of the seven petitions and what they mean to you… are you in agreement with God as to what these passages of scripture are saying and what specifically do you desire from our Father?
Seven Results to Expect When Praying The Lord’s Prayer.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer daily and fervently, there are seven things that we can expect to change in our lives and redirect our future.
We will firstly magnify God each day. This is where “Hallowed be thy Name” come into play. As we magnify and worship God we grow as Christians and the more that we learn of God the more comfortable we are in his presence and the more we learn what he as a Father expects from us, His children.
Secondly, we will live by better principles when we pray ”Thy Kingdom Come” We are asking God to bring His kingdom principles and His kingdom agenda into our daily lives. Which result in us living better lives under God’s rule and authority.
Third God will give us guidance for the day.When we pray “Thy will be done” We are asking God to lead and guide us into His plan and purpose for our life.
The fourth result of praying in this manner…We receive more answers from God. Although to pray it one time is not enough. We must pray in this manner constantly, correctly and confidently. See Hebrew 11:6
Fifth it make us feel clean. When you and I pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask God “Forgive our Debts” we not only receive forgiveness, but we know that we know that we have been forgiven. We experience forgiveness and we feel forgiven.
And listen, there is nothing wrong with a good, good feeling to go along with the truth that you already know.
The Sixth thing is that the Lord’s Prayer gives us victory. Everyone in their right minds wants to be able to rise above the circumstances and challenges of life and be victorious over problems. When we pray “Lord lead us not into temptation…” we are asking God to keep us away from situations that will destroy us. See James 1:13
The scripture that constantly comes to my mind when I utter the words “Lord lead us not into temptation…” is this. Lord give me the ability to cast down imagination and every high thing that attempts to exalt itself above your knowledge and allow me to bring every thought into captivity and under the obedience of Jesus Christ. 2nd Corinthians 10:5
The last and Seventh Petition gives us protection. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer “ Deliver us from evil and the evil one” We receive God’s divine protection around and in our life. Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 and Deuteronomy 31:6 Psalms 91:11
This is the petition that I am reminded also of the “whole armor of God”.Ephesians 6:11-18 This too is scripture that I personally recommend that every believer commits to memory and incorporate into your daily prayer.
After all, is said and done… Prayer must begin with God as the central focus and it must end with Him (God) as the central focus. It’s really all about Him. See Colossians 1:16-18 So when we pray let us be sure to keep that in mind. It is He that deserves all honor and the praise and the glory.
He can do anything!
For more insights on praying the Lord’s Prayer check out this timeless treasure by Elmer L. Towns. Each chapter, examining a line from the Lord’s Prayer, reveals power points for believers desiring a more dynamic prayer life. Towns says that Jesus’ model prayer “includes everything you need to ask when you talk to God.”
When men ask the question of why does God allow bad things to happen? They forget that they themselves have done bad things as well. So, shouldn’t they be asking why does God allow me to do bad things as well?
It seems as though men want justice for everyone else but themselves.
Everything that God does and don’t do is right and just. No one can add to it, and no one can take anything away from it.