"Break up the unplowed ground;
do not sow among the thorns." –Jeremiah 4:3b
My brother, Stu, was a wrestler in high school. His junior year he won 14 and lost 10, which is not bad, but he wasn’t happy with the results. So, he decided to spend one summer at various camps to get better.
Stu knew one of his weaknesses was wrestling in the standing position. He was terrible at takedowns. When he went on the offensive, he usually ended up on the bottom. His defensive strategy usually yielded the same results. At the camps he worked hard to overcome these weaknesses. He sought good coaching, made tremendous efforts, and then implemented the new strategy. The next year Stu ended up with 24 wins and only six losses!
Jeremiah 4:3 tells us to break up the unplowed ground in our lives and quit sowing in the thorns. For Stu, the “unplowed ground” was his weakness in the standing position, and the “sowing among the thorns” was doing the same bad things repeatedly.
Spiritually speaking, the unplowed ground or glaring weaknesses could be one’s lack of involvement in church or lack of Bible learning. And sowing among the thorns could be involvement in drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, cheating, and so forth. Dabbling in these things will never get anyone game ready. Implementing a plan and working hard against them, however, is a solid strategy.
1. What things in your life could be described as “unplowed ground” or “thorny soil”?
2. Choose one “unplowed ground” and one “thorny soil” area and seek help to overcome them.
3. Make a commitment to go at these two for the next 30 days and see how God turns you around!
Psalm 1; Matthew 13:1-8,18-23
Lord, help me to break up the unplowed ground in my life so that I can stop sowing among thorns. Show me what needs to be changed in my life and give me the strength to rely fully on You. Amen.