BY: DAVID L. WALKER – APRIL 2000
Today, I plowed up my garden spot for the third year in a row. All I have is a push plow, so plowing takes a while and a lot of muscle. As I plowed, I hit several stumps left from the sunflower plants we had planted last year. The plants had reached a height of over 12', so they had quite a root system. It took me two or three times hitting the stumps with the plow before they would even budge. They were rooted and grounded pretty good and when they finally were uprooted they left quite a hole. Grass and clover had crept back in and also had to be plowed up and removed. After three years, I still found rocks, glass and sticks hidden below the surface. The first plowing each year after winter is not quite like breaking new ground, but its close. It takes about four times of plowing and raking to prepare the ground for planting.
This is a very critical time. The ground has been broken up and its laid open to receive the new seed. This is also the season for the wind to blow and everything from trees to dandelions are producing their seeds which are looking for a place to stay. As we sow the good seed its easy for the wrong seed to get mixed in. When it does get mixed in, one has to wait until the good seed matures before he can uproot the bad seed to keep from messing up the good crop (Matthew 13: 24-30). If we will wait until the good seed takes root, then we can remove the bad seed and all of its roots.
After the good seed is planted, it is important to water the ground so the seed will germinate as soon as possible. As the plants begin to break the surface its important to hoe as close to the plant as possible. This aerates the soil and also makes the ground more apt to receive water with little run off. As the plants continue to grow, more and more care is needed to protect the crop. Grass and weeds begin to attack the plants. Ants and all kinds of garden insects begin to appear. The closer the crop gets to harvest, the more the pestilence appears. Two or three days without checking on some plants could cost them their lives and the crops they could have produced, but if we continue to watch over our gardens, we can and will produce a crop that others will talk about.
As I thought and pondered my garden today, I compared it to my walk with Christ. First of all, I looked over my little push plow, which in the Spirit represents the Word of God. It has a wheel with eight spokes and has a bearing in the middle. Its like a wheel in the middle of a wheel. It all functions and operates in one accord. This is the authority and power behind the working of the plow. Eight is the number of "new beginnings" and a plow is breaking up new ground for a new crop. The wheel is also what keeps the plow in the way or the direction it should go. This is the direction of TRUTH. The plow itself has five fingers that dig down into the ground to breakup the soil. This is also the lowest part of the plow and it goes the deepest into the ground. This enables the ground to receive new life. Without Christ being broken for us there would be no grace. We have to be broken in like manner to receive His grace. Five is the number of grace.
The plow has three braces holding the plow together. One brace goes from the center of the wheel to the plow forks, then up to the second brace which is a cross brace between the handles. The third brace is up at the top holding the two handles apart. The three braces are like the spirit, soul and body of the plow. All working in one accord with one mind to accomplish the same goal. The two handles stand ready for the Master that has the power, authority and the direction to go. Two means witness. Once we have been plowed, then we can become a plow for Him. Now we can become witnesses for Him and not for ourselves, giving Him all the glory. There are seven main pieces to this plow, all working together for perfection. Seven is the number of perfection.
As I thought about plowing up the dirt, breaking and laying open the soil for the new seed to be planted, I thought about the stumps of the sunflowers that had been left from last year. They were not easy to remove and they left quite a hole when uprooted. In my life, I have dealt with things in my flesh or on the surface, but sometimes I didn't dig down to get the root cause of the problem. There was a time I had arthritis in my right knee. It had reached a point it had eaten my knee joint away so bad the only thing they could do was knee replacement surgery. I prayed and prayed and once I was healed for several months. Its like arthritis had a right to be there. I believe the Word and spoke it often over my knee.
Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (I Peter 2:24; Matthew 8:17).
It reached a point that medication could not stop the pain or torment. I prayed and the Father said, “It has a right to be there because of the bitterness and envy in your life.” This was the spiritual problem that related back for years, even to my childhood. "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” Proverbs 14:30. This was the root cause under the surface. When I repented, I broke up the old hard ground and removed the roots and stumps from the past. I filled the hole that was left with the Holy Spirit, love, righteousness, peace and joy. Then I covered it in soil, the blood of the Lamb. Bitterness and envy are gone, arthritis is gone and I have the same knee nine years later with no problems.
The rocks, sticks and grass are little things that keep showing up in our flesh that we have not mortified yet. It might be TV, movies, pornography. This gives the enemy an open door to keep coming into our lives. We don't want the lust, evil thoughts, anger, violence, etc., but as we participate in these things we open doors so they can continually come in. As we mortify or put these things to death, we overcome. We have removed the rocks, the sticks and the grass that constantly gets in the way of a good crop being produced.
As we are broken and opened to receive, we sometimes hear a lot of traditions and doctrines of men, teachings of self and not of the Holy Ghost. False teachers, false prophets, teachings of men that can and will produce a bad crop are like the trees or dandelions planting their seeds in our natural garden. As we grow and mature we check everything according to the Word that has been taught us by the Holy Ghost. Everything that doesn't line up is uprooted and cast out. The grass, weeds, trees and dandelions are uprooted that a righteous crop might be produced. We now know what is of self, what is traditions and doctrines of men and what is false teaching. As it is uprooted more room is made for the truth to produce life.
As we continue, the summer sun gets hotter and hotter. As we draw closer and closer to God, the heat seems to increase. It’s easy in August to say its too hot to work in the garden today, but that day the pestilence will advance. It’s the same in our lives. Everyday we have to fight the fight of faith. We can't put our sevin dust down. We can't put our hoe down and we can't put our water hose down. If we do, our crop is in jeopardy. As our life grows in Christ and we start to feed others beside ourselves with the Word of God, more and more things arise to try to take our time and focus. It's the time we take to read and study God's Word, the time we spend in praise and prayer and it’s the time we spend talking with the Father that produces a good crop.
our hands on the plow and never look back. Let Him plow up al! of the kingdoms
that we have built and let Him build His within us. Luke
17:20-21. "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the
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