"Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)
First of all, I'm not totally sure what the phrase "break up your unplowed ground" means, but I have some ideas based on the context of the passage, which is talking about sowing and reaping righteousness or evil. I think the unplowed ground represents those areas of our lives that we have not surrendered to God. The soil of our hearts that could be bringing forth a harvest of righteousness--but we have let it lie fallow time and time again.
We are not doing the tough work to break up the soil of our hearts. According to statistics, the average American Christian prays for a grand total of only three minutes a day! That number says to me that we have some untapped resources in prayer and in the power of God that we need to be seeking out! It is TIME to seek the Lord. It is time. To pursue God with a fresh tenacity. To get our hands dirty breaking up the unplowed ground in our own hearts--getting it ready to sow seeds which will reap a harvest of righteousness. That means getting into areas of our hearts and lives we might prefer to leave untouched! We might prefer not to "plow" ground in areas of our lives where we don't even WANT righteousness to grow. We often tend to want to keep "sections" of our lives for ourselves, while still working tirelessly to convince ourselves that God is in control of our lives. Yet in a very real way, partial surrender is not surrender at all.
It's very easy to want to sow seeds of righteousness in SOME areas of our lives while ignoring others. But we need to be getting passionate about ALL of it. God wants all of it! The Lord asks a question of us in Jeremiah 30:21. A question which echoes in my mind every time I read it with the raw, barely veiled desire in the words. A desire for passionate relationship with us. He asks, "Who is he who will DEVOTE himself to BE CLOSE TO ME?"
We live immersed in a world of passion and discovery. Of creativity, tenacity, new things happening all the time. We live in a world where people are DEVOTED to a lot of stuff, but where not enough people are devoted to being close to the Lord. The Lord is looking for anyone who will devote him or herself to be CLOSE to him. It is time to seek the Lord. It is time to break up the unplowed ground. If and as we do, the Lord will shower his righteousness on us.
Being devoted to being close to the Lord is characterized by an investment of more than three minutes a day--if you know what I'm saying. To me, expecting to be close to the Lord in just 3 minutes a day is like expecting to be BFFs with someone because you spend 3 minutes a day Facebook stalking them! I spend more time than that every day:
- brushing my teeth
- getting dressed
- checking email
- reading magazines
- listening to music
And as Hosea urges us, reap the fruit of unfailing love. Just as a side note: the only things in the Bible which are described as "unfailing" are God's kindness and His love. Nothing else. Only His love never fails.
I want to know the Lord and His amazing, unfailing love. That pursuit is worth more than three minutes of my day.
"Let us press on to know the Lord...He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of DAWN or the coming of rains in early spring." Hosea 6:3