“My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.” (Job 4:8 NLT)
As I write today, I’m basking in the joy of corporate worship. My soul is refreshed as I ponder the privilege of being with my brothers and sisters in Christ, sharing in the singing of songs of praise and honor to our Savior, and listening to a message from God’s Word.
Why do I value worshipping with others so highly? The same reason I value my individual times of worship and prayer. I’m cultivating the soil of my heart, seeking to water and nourish the presence of God in me.
May I make an observation? I listen to a lot of Christian music, mostly when I’m driving, but I hear a big difference in what’s on the radio and what I hear when I’m at church. “Yeh,” you might think, “because the songs on the radio are professionally produced and are much better.” Quite to the contrary, for the most part the songs on the radio, as good as they are, are performances, but what I experience at the church I attend is worshipful. The men and women who sing at church aren’t seeking to draw attention to themselves, but to direct our attention, praise, and glory to Jesus.
In my desktop devotional calendar today, the quote was: “The reality of knowing Jesus comes as a result of hidden prayer, and personal Bible study that is devotional and consistent in nature. Christ becomes more real to those who persist in cultivating His presence.”
“Cultivate” is an interesting word. According to Webster’s Dictionary it means: “to prepare and use soil or land for growing crops, till, to break up the surface soil around plants in order to destroy weeds, prevent crusting, and preserve moisture.” There’s more, but you get the idea.
So, what can we learn? Preparing the “soil” of our hearts takes time and effort. What happens in your garden if you don’t pay attention to the soil? Weeds grow! Plants die! What happens in your heart if you don’t pay attention to what your “soil” is seeing? Hearing? Being exposed to?
At best, we get distracted. At worst, we lose our way. What measure of faith we have gets choked out by the draw of the world. What we think about comes about! What we feed our mind and heart produces a “crop.” The produce of our life will either be honoring to God, or it won’t, there’s no in between.
Cultivation is intentional. Paul writes in Galatians 6:7-9: “Don’t be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
We can’t grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus by constantly feeding on the “crumbs” of another’s efforts (i.e. a book we’re reading or a sermon from our favorite Pastor). The roots of our faith only deepen when we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us from God’s Word – who is Jesus – through prayerful reading and studying the Bible, His written Word, as well as individual, and corporate worship.
If you desire a “harvest” of fruitfulness for the Lord, cultivate the “soil” of your heart and grow seeds of faith that will honor and glorify Jesus.
Blessings, Ed 😊
2 thoughts on “What Are You Cultivating?”
Wonderful picture of caring for the spiritual soil of our hearts; thank you brother Ed!
You’re welcome, my friend. 🙂