THE SOIL OF THE SOUL, ITS FRUIT AND THE HARVEST
It is the conclusion of the harvest season for the year. It is the time of the year when the ground or the soils of our fields and gardens have yielded their crops and vegetables. The various types of soil have given of their minerals, etc. into the soybeans and corn; the lawns and flower beds have given of their nutrients in their flowers and their foliage.
What has the soil of your soul produced? What kind of fruit has it yielded? When it comes to the conclusion or the end of our lives, what will be gathered in the harvest? What will the results look like?
Let´s continue to reflect on the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We need to look at the soil of our souls. When the Word of God is sown in our hearts, minds and lives, what kind of soil does the Lord find in our souls? The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us in the New Testament, the book of Matthew, chapter 13, that there are four kinds of soils in our souls. What kind of soil does He find in your soul?
W. Philip Keller in his book, A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit, says that there are Pathway People--for the Birds, Rocky People without Deep Roots, Thorny People Lost in the Weeds and Productive People, Good Ground. What kind of soil are you? What kind of fruit are you yielding?
The Pathway People are those who have had much of the soil of their souls beaten hard as a rock. They are individuals, who have allowed the soil of their souls to become hardened by friends and associations with people, that have no regard for the Word, the will and ways of God and His Kingdom. There are some individuals whose lives become hardened by the deceptive influences of our worldly culture, its thinking, its music, its literature, its pursuit of pleasure, sensual experiences, selfishness and self-centeredness. There are times when people become pathway people because of unforgiveness, grudges and grievances, belligerence and bitterness, anxiety and animosity. Often, people like this will become so hard hearted that they will say this religion or Christianity thing is for the birds! It then becomes very difficult to produce the fruit of love, joy, contentedness and gentleness; unless, the Lord, the Master Gardener, is allowed to break up the hardness of our hearts, when we are honest with ourselves and with Him by repenting.
We will look at one more soil of our souls this time and then discuss the final two soils next time. Again, let me ask what is the soil of your soul like and what kind of fruit is it producing? What are Rocky People without Deep Roots?
These are people who have not let the Word of God sink deep into their souls, because their response may have been just an emotional one. Therefore, it is shallow and superficial. Some people are shallow, because they have not put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, but they have be-lieved in the institution, the programs or the ceremonies of the church. They have believed in, as Keller puts it, “the pastor, the preacher, the evangelist, the fellowship, the friendship, the experiences, the sharing, the love of other so-called Christians, the acceptance or concern of God's family.”
In addition, Rocky people without Roots are often those who refuse to accept the absolute au-thority and integrity of God´s Word, His Will and His Ways as revealed in the Bible and the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Or rocky, shallow soiled souls have not totally dealt with the selfishness and self-centeredness in their lives and the need to unequivocally surrender and submit to Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives. Sometimes the rocky, shallow, sandy and stony soiled people have hidden streaks of ingratitude, grumbling, critical and fault finding in their lives.
It is only when the work of the Master Gardener, our Heavenly Father is responded to and asked to come in, to…
- break up the hardness of our hearts,
- pick out the rocks of our unbelief,
- cultivate our souls with the power of His Word,
- refresh us with the water of His Spirit,
- or fill us with the nutrient-promises of His Word,
...that we can be fruitful or harvest producing people.
May the garden of our lives be filled with the fruit of God, the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Perry DeGroot