Break up the Fallow Ground :: By Edwin Tan

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up the fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12).

A good number of us possess a personal planner with varying degrees of sophistication. Picture one that has sections highlighted in different colours; the ones that are to do with our spiritual life could be highlighted in bright yellow – church where the focus is on sound doctrine, in-depth Bible study sessions, allotted time for relevant material from cyberspace and upcoming conferences which are deemed as a no miss. Then there is the one in blue that is meant for work if not career-related must-not-miss events, followed by the green highlight for social and leisure to-dos!

Ahem! Not bad; now that you have an orderly flow of things, and with that, you can live your life to the fullest whilst professing to be a full-fledged soldier of Christ.

Is that really the case? It could only be a partial fact. Problem is, while being systematic weeds out confusion and wasteful repetitions – rigidity becomes the unwelcome flip side! We can be guilty of swearing by our colour-coded compartments. No crossovers please! What you just digested in your devotion time with the Lord simply takes the last seat in the row when you engrossed in a lengthy corporate negotiation with bearings on your future. The same could apply when sipping a latte whilst in the thick of Superbowl action. Whether it hits us subtly or not, we have limited our Lord and Saviour’s free course where our lives are concerned. Isn’t that fallow or unproductive ground?

It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that this current state of affairs has served as the tool that breaks up the fallow ground in our lives. Everything has been drastically rearranged as norms get pummeled. On the other hand, challenging moments emerge and can take on the nature of a triathlon in some cases. To freak out and throw in the towel would be an act of faithless leaning. What we need to do is to reexamine our relationship with our Redeemer, especially with respect to His enhanced role in every aspect of our lives. There is indeed great scope for all this, provided we are willing to loosen the rigidity and let Him have free course in our lives.

It could be a case of somebody living on the sharp edge: business failure, job loss and, for that matter, the direct scourge of the pandemic. It is truly daunting, nerve-wrecking and even at times close to the prospect of self-destruction. But the Lord can make the potent difference if you let Him have the final say in all these pressing matters. Believe that HE will not leave you or forsake you, even if you are thrown in a multiple whammy situation. HE knows every minute detail of your life, as best said in Matthew 10:30: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

It could also be a front-liner who is under immense pressure for days on end; respite could be a luxury but an opportune moment to seek the Lord, and this would be strength for the bones plus refreshment for the soul.

Then there are quite a lot of people who are cooped up with plenty of free time. Great! Go and invite the Lord Jesus into the untrodden areas of your lives. Get to know Him better in this time. Perhaps it could be the long-awaited yet appointed moment in your life. Your destiny would be surprisingly different. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Yours in Christ