Our corn garden has been unique this year, and it leads me to the focus of this article. Half of our corn did great while the other half will not be producing us even an ear of corn. What is the reason for the difference? The soil.
On the half that didnít fare well, we had planted winter rye as a cover crop. Iím definitely not against planting rye, but from my perspective a key is to till the soil more than once and then to pick out the big clumps of rye. We did neither because of the busyness of our schedules, and since it was into June already until it got tilled, I just hurriedly sowed the seed into the ground. On the side without the rye we had spread composted manure and the seeds grew great. The other side, however, grew sparsely. Here and there seeds sprouted, but the soil was not conducive to allowing them to grow the way they should.
Also, I did a decent job of weeding the half with the good soil, but due to lack of time I didnít get the other side weeded. The weeds choked out whatever corn had been growing.
I see my corn garden as a reflection of a powerful spiritual truth here. The seeds I sowed were all the same. There was nothing wrong with the seed but with the soil. I was reminded of the parable Jesus told of the sower sowing the seed in Matthew 13, with the seed representing the word of God and the soil the condition of the hearts of people. The word of God is perfect, yet not all receive the truths in it. Hebrews 4:2 says, ďFor indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.Ē
The condition of a personís heart is key to them receiving the truth of the word and allowing it to bear fruit in their lives.
Some hear the word, but since they donít understand it, they dismiss it and allow the devil to steal the seed of truth that was sown. This is like seed that has fallen by the wayside. The devil does not want people to know and receive the truth and will do whatever he can to steal it away so they can stay in bondage to his lies.
Others hear the word and receive it with joy, but then persecutions come against them for the wordís sake and they fall because they are not rooted in the word enough to stand. That is like the seed sown in rocky, hard soil.
And in many cases like what happened in my garden, the seed of truth may start growing in a personís life, but then they get caught up in the world and not the word, and so the word in them does not end up bearing fruit. This is like seed that has fallen among the thistles, and the weeds choke out the word.
What is the soil of your heart like? Donít harden your heart to the seed of truth God wants to plant in it or dismiss it because you donít understand it. Donít allow the fear of man or the cares of this world to choke it out. Godís desire is for the soil of our hearts to be fertile so his seeds of truth can be planted and bear much fruit for his kingdom. The Holy Spirit draws us into deeper communion with the Lord, but it is up to us to allow him to have his way in us and keep our hearts open to his truth. Jeremiah 29:13 says, ďYou will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.Ē
Hearts that are hungry and open to the truth are hearts that become radically transformed and bring forth much fruit. It isnít us doing it in our own strength and self-effort, only being fertile soil so that seed planted can come forth out of us to bear fruit. Will we allow his word to permeate through our hearts to produce a harvest for his kingdom?
Father, I pray for hearts to be like fertile soil where your word sown in us can grow and produce an abundance of fruit for your kingdom. May we not allow the enemy or the weeds of this world to steal your harvest. Amen.
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page.
Published: September 5, 2016