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Fertile Soil in a Barren Land

Posted Jul 27 2009 11:52pm

Totally Translplanted with Shonda Savage Whitworth

South Texas is experiencing exceptional drought. Only a few more days and records will be set for the longest concurrent days with triple digit heat. We can't remember the last time it rained as it has been so long. Water restrictions are being enforced in many areas as landscaping doesn't seem as relevant as having drinking water.

Dry grass highway A few weeks ago, my son, Chase, played in all-star baseball tournaments. These tournaments required us to travel farther south in Texas and each day we embarked on the two-hour journey to the baseball fields. On the way, we saw the dry, grassy fields with thin cattle searching for edible vegetation. What a pitiful sight. Chase, being very observant noticed green patchy areas out in the fields. These areas weren't very large, but like green polka dots scattered on the yellow backdrop. He asked why there were green patches in the fields. My husband and I jokingly stated, "That's where the cows urinate to keep the grass green to eat." Of course, we got the anticipated response, "Eeewwwww!"

Whatever the real reason for the green grass grew in the dry field, it certainly attracted the livestock. Perhaps the soil is more fertile and the type of grass growing there is heartier than the rest. How can we be fertile soil in a barren land? How do we attract others to the richness of God's grace?

First, we must realize our current condition. Isaiah 59:10 tells us that "We are as dead men in desolate places" (NKJV) If we remain in our fallen state we will face eternal death, separation from God. But the good news is the Holy Spirit convicts us of our fallen nature and leads us to repentance through Jesus Christ. We must acknowledge the prompting from the Holy Spirit to confess Jesus is Lord. When we do this then we are redeemed.

Second, now that we've acknowledged Jesus is Lord, we're free from the law of sin and death. We now can live a life through the Holy Spirit who teaches us how to live. Romans 8 shows us how to live a Spirit-filled life. We have parts that war with one another—the flesh and the spirit. We're to put to death the flesh, the part of us that longs for the ways of the world and live a life filled with the Holy Spirit that lives in us.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:9-11, NKJV)

So the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead gives life to our body and lives in us. Therefore, we have the power to overcome! We have the power by the Holy Spirit to face trials and adversities that come our way. It may not always be fun or enjoyable, but we have the power. When I have more week than paycheck, I can tap into the Holy Spirit power to guide me and show me where I can cut back. When my children feel like leeches sucking the life right out of me, I have the power of the Holy Spirit to impart wisdom to show me how to be the mother they need. When my neighbor criticizes me for being late, I have the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in kindness.

Praying-hands Also, we need to be refilled by the Holy Spirit. Just like certain plants need daily water, we need our daily filling. I can't go all week on a Sunday sermon. I meet daily with the Lord at the same time in order to be refilled. We're filled back up when we pray and read the Word of God. In Acts after the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, they boldly shared the gospel message. In Acts 4, the Sanhedrin commanded Peter and John to stop preaching in Jesus name. After telling the Sanhedrin that they must speak of what they saw and heard, they gathered in a prayer meeting for a refilling. After facing opposition, they did not ask God to change the hearts of the Sanhedrin or pray prayers like David to strike down their enemies. No, they prayed for boldness.

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. (Acts 4:29-30, NKJV)

Being filled and refilled through prayer, gives us boldness to proclaim the gospel message. The apostles shared their testimony. We can share our testimony with others with boldness to lead others to Christ. Also being refilled through daily prayer gives us a boldness to make the right choices in the face of opposition.

We can be fertile soil in barren land by acknowledging the prompting of the Holy Spirit that we have a need for a Savior, live a life according to the Spirit, be continually refilled by the Holy Spirit, and boldly declare the goodness of Christ to others. When we are Totally Transplanted, we'll attract others to Christ by our fertile soil in the wastelands.

Meet Shonda Savage Whitworth

(c) 2009 Shonda Savage Whitworth

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