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We have a rather large event coming to our community next summer and as we are preparing, the phrase that keeps rolling around in my head is: “Prepare the soil.” It’s like a mantra, “Prepare the soil. Prepare the soil. Prepare the soil.” I decided to research what preparing the soil looks like and came upon an amazing article from Planet Natural. Come to find out, in preparing the soil, you don’t just plow the ground and make sure there are no weeds. If you want a great harvest, there is a lot more to it than that. The article was talking about gardening, but the spiritual implications were profound.
The beginning of the article states, “Healthy soil is the basis of healthy plants and a healthy environment. When garden soil is in good shape there is less need for fertilizers or pesticides.”
Spiritually speaking, when a ministry, a project, or a church is prepared and tenderized through prayer, when God has prepared the soil through prayer, manmade schemes are unnecessary. We won’t have to beg, plead, cajole, or come up with special promotions for people to come. God’s Spirit will bring them. We won’t have to worry about finances. God will provide. We won’t have to wonder if God is at work. We will know He is working because hearts (soil) are pliable and ready to hear the Gospel. When soil is prepared through prayer, God alone is glorified. No one else can take credit because everyone will know it is God.
The article went onto say, “When building soil you not only improve your plants health, but you can also improve your own.”
We’ve all heard how prayer not only changes others, but also the person praying. Isn’t it amazing that when we prepare the soil, (whether physically speaking, or spiritually speaking), our health is also improved, not just the soil? Physically speaking, we are moving muscles and getting some sunshine. Spiritually speaking, our hearts are tenderized and pliable for growth. Part of preparing the soil for others is allowing God to prepare our own soil as well.
Another part of prepping the soil involves the Word of God. Jeremiah 23:29 says, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” No ground is too hard for our God. No heart is too hard for the Word of God to penetrate. Part of preparing the soil is speaking God’s Word over a facility, over the people, over the ground where His Spirit has called you. Preparing the soil involves reading the Word, knowing the Word and praying the Word.
Another way to prepare the soil is by giving God praise before the harvest. Praising by faith, if you will. Second Chronicles 20 is a great example of this. King Jehoshaphat was being attacked by a much larger army, but he sought the Lord and the Lord told him that he would win the victory. On the day of the battle, King Jehoshaphat sent people to praise the Lord into the battlefield first. Verses 21 and 22 say, “Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the LORD and some to praise the splendor of ⌊His⌋ holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the LORD, for His faithful love endures forever. The moment they began ⌊their⌋ shouts and praises, the LORD set an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and ⌊the inhabitants of⌋ Mount Seir who came ⌊to fight⌋ against Judah, and they were defeated.” King Jehoshaphat prepared the soil before the battle and there was a great victory.
We need to ask ourselves, “Are we faithful to prepare the soil?” So many times we hurl headlong into a situation wondering why God didn’t move never realizing that the soil needed to be prepared beforehand. We think we can just add manmade ideas, sprinkle a little prayer over our endeavors and everything will turn out fine. How’s that working for us?
We need to remember that preparing the soil is vital. God is faithful, let’s be faithful as well and learn that nothing planted will remain unless the soil is prepared. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands— establish the work of our hands!”