Refreshing the Soil
This morning as I was washing the clinging soil from the carrots and leeks I’d just brought in from my garden, I was also listening in on a weekly prayer call full of wise and godly women.
The crisp cold water released the pungent fragrance of the leeks and the sweet refreshing scent of the carrots that had grown strong in my raised beds. Our leader told us that today was the National Day of Repentance. As I stood feeling the cold water and cleaning my harvested future meals, I began to discern what the Lord was saying.
As I washed the soil down the drain, I thought about the qualities of the soil that are necessary for those veggies to grow so big and strong and healthy. Soil fertility. Good soil is fertile soil. Soil that is full of resources and therefore able to produce.
Good soil grows good fruit, good crops. As believers, if there is no fruit, something is wrong with our God-relationship.
But! If there is good fruit, fruit in abundance, then not only do we need pruning, but we REALLY need our soil to be refreshed, restored and made fertile again.
How does that happen? Repentance and intimacy.
If I try to grow next year’s crop in last year’s soil, I may still get a harvest, but it will be less than last year. I may have a greater pest problem. I may have deformed crops. All of these are characteristic of depleted soil.
But just let me add some new resources to my soil, fresh from my time at Jesus’ breast, and watch new life thrust itself out of the soil and produce an abundant harvest again!
Sometimes when we have had a long history of producing good fruit, we get in a rut of things that “work” for us that are part of our former relationship with Jesus, but that Jesus has now left behind.
He has moved on in our relationship, but I am still clinging to THINGS that used to be part of our relationship. Somehow, I have let go of His hand. Jesus isn’t doing it that way anymore. My soil has given to the crop all the good resources I got from Jesus and is depleted.
I remember being at a conference and they were calling for “seeds to be sown, and people were running up to the stage to drop money in the basket.” Translation; put money in so money would come back to you. The lady next to me, a stranger, said, “This works! You need to do it!” THIS works. THIS religious exercise. THIS thing devoid of relationship with Jesus.
But Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” When Jesus wants to refresh us, we need to let go of the old things. They did work then. But now, “See I”m doing a new thing.” Isaiah 43.19
In the last 2 weeks, I have talked to many believers needing help, because Jesus was upending some things in them. Through dreams and difficulties and just plain uncomfortableness, Holy Spirit was pointing to things in them that have been there a long time. Things that NOW He wants to help them uproot and remove once and for all.
In the last year, we have been through a season of shaking, so repentance should be a natural. In this season of repentance, Holy Spirit is bringing to our attention fears, misunderstandings, wrong thinking, strongholds, and cultural norms that He wants to help us tear down once and for all. THIS is true repentance and it leads to true FREEDOM too!
In all of us are “the patterns of this world” but Holy Spirit says, “Don’t be conformed to those old dead things, but let me transform you by replacing your thoughts with my thoughts instead!” (Paraphrase of Roman’s 12:2)
“Yes Lord! Please do it! On this National Day of Repentance, do it! Refresh my soil with newness of life, abundant life so that a new and flourishing crop may grow again.
Dear reader, I bless you to feel the discomfort of Holy Spirit poking at the thing he wants to take from you and you unburdening yourself of it, so you can receive ALL that He wants to give you instead. I bless you in the freedom of repentance and intimate refreshing.
“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:8