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. (Hosea 10:12, emphasis added)
The last blog entry for The Plow ended with the need to break up the fallow ground in our lives. But how does God accomplish the plowing? We simply allow God to do what he desires and I will give you three simple steps to this end.
We can break up the fallow ground in three simple steps:
Recognition: Look at your life. Are you hardened to God’s call to become a Revolutionary for the Kingdom? Are you listening to the command of the Great Commission to make disciples and to teach His Word? Your heart needs the plow and you must recognize this or you will be living in mediocrity the remainder of your days. Do you not know that there is a judgment coming upon those who profess Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12-15 and 9:24-27)? Eternal rewards are on the line! Be a good steward of your life!
Repentance: Once you recognize you are not engaged in the battle for the Kingdom you must enlist immediately. Repentance is both turning away from something sinful (the hardened heart) and walking anew in the Spirit seeking the will of God (Romans 8). Turn and seek the plow and endure until new life is begun in your heart and then constantly request the plow to do its work in you.
Obedience: Soldiers are obedient and follow the commands of their officers and we should do the same with our command from the Commander (as a soldier), Master (as a slave), and Lord (as the household steward) of our lives. Simple obedience will open the gate for the plow to come in and break the fallow ground. A life of obedience is the call of the Revolutionary.
What Matthew Henry penned in his commentary on this verse is a good summation of the good of breaking up fallow ground by the plow:
Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, which are as weeds and thorns, and let them be humbled for these sins, and be of a broken and contrite spirit in the sense of them; let them by full of sorrow and shame at the remembrance of them, and prepare to receive the divine precepts, as the ground that is ploughed is to receive the seed, that it may take root.
For it is time to seek the LORD. We are to seek the Lord now, today (Hebrews 1:5; 3:7, 13, 15; and 4:17). Time is slipping away and there is no time to dely. Now is time to work and cultivate your fields by inviting in the plow. We must be diligent in seeking His will, until it becomes clear. But what is clear in the Great Commission is the command to make disciples and to teach. Seek Him with your broken heart prepared by the plow to receive His direction by the Holy Spirit that empowers and guides us to all truth. We seek Him till He comes and what we then will find is true righteousness, righteousness imparted so we can serve the King in battle for the Kingdom.
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. In the Hosea passage this line is primarily in reference to the prophetic will of God in sending the Son down to earth from heaven, because Jesus is our righteousness (Psalm 72:6-7; Isaiah 45:8; Romans 3:21-23; Romans 4:20-25; Romans 6:13-20; Romans 8:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; and Philippians 3:9). Jesus was sent to teach us all things (John 3:2; John 4:25; Isaiah 2:3; and Isaiah 55:4) as part of this blessing from above so we will be adequately trained to make disciples and to teach others.
In another sense this line tells us it is important to understand that the farmer may cultivate the field but it is God who sends the rain. Isaiah 44:3 says, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.” As a true son of Abraham (Romans 4 and Galatians 4) we can stand on this promise. God will send His rain upon a field that is broken and has received the seed of His righteousness.
The Preacher’s Commentary has this to say concerning the choice to live the life after the plow:
The Christian life is one of struggle, strain, and stress until we accept our calling to servanthood as to the key to experiencing authentic power. We will be troubled by the lust for power and the lack of power until we do. And what is worse – until we understand the vital link between servanthood and power, we will limp on in our inadequate facsimiles of power.