There is nothing like the finger of God on our life to bring us to a dead stop.
My word of study this year is ‘time’. The season of it, rhythm, readiness of it, etc. There is an endless set of assets related to time. Why? It's part of the creation of God - not man. Because God is without end, His ability to craft connection points with time is more than our pea-size brains could ever hope to imagine, and I love and thrive on the intricacies of His craftsmanship.
My mornings start very early (4:30-5:00 AM) and there is usually plenty of ‘time’ to ponder and study the original Hebrew and Greek text and present my questions to God. So, why was I so surprised when He redefined the meaning of the scripture in Exodus 34:21? – “Six days you will work, but on the seventh day you will rest; in plowing time and in harvest you will rest.”
The traditional model of this text is for Christians to take a day off once a week, to stay refreshed. That is valid. But the bolded text for me meant so much more. It contains building blocks for the journey and ways we can partner together with God to weaponize the preparation of our spiritual fields for harvest.
God has given each of us a spiritual field or two to possess. Yours may be a business, farm, ministry, organization, people group, family, and as always, we all are given a heart as an internal spiritual field to keep watered and nurtured. We can be in such a hurry that we go tearing through our field looking for some sort of crop to have sprung up, only to become disappointed that there is yet no evidence of transformation.
All of us desperately want our field to yield a good harvest. So why would God give us the field if He did not want us to steward it for His purposes? How short-sighted, selfish, and deceitful our gold-plated hearts of good intentions can be. This mindset isn’t wrong but oh-so terse from the bigger picture God has in mind.
What does it mean to ‘plow’ time? For this, we must research what it means in the natural realm to plow.
Plowing is an action done well before any seed is cast into a field. It is an action nonetheless, a most undignified, and hidden work. Not at all one of the top contenders for the career-of-the-year award.
Here are some of the benefits I found for plowing:
Break the resistance
Expose deep root systems
Mix up the nutrients which remain
Destroy harmful critters
When we apply this understanding in prayer and active waiting to our fields, we can see the sentience of time IS acting. There is a deep and valuable commodity to our inviting God into the picture to welcome time to plow up our fields. There is extraordinary significance to setting our thoughts on God’s intentions of how, what and when He plans for the tender beauty and diversity of our fields to be revealed to an awaiting world who is longing for a Savior.
“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” (Hos. 12:12).
Take heart friends, His word will not return void.