You see, it's cultivating time here in Iowa. My farmer husband is busy cultivating the beans we've planted in the field. This is a task I associate with Iowa soil, one I know involves work and takes time. I hadn't really ever connected that word with my heart, but as I thought about it, God showed me there are some similarities.
Many farmers today don't do a lot of cultivating. They have access to various chemicals and numerous fertilizers; that is a much easier and faster route. But since we are raising organic crops this is not an option for us. My husband must do the tedious job of cultivating taking 12 rows at a time. The equipment digs up the dirt and removes the weeds, so the crop can grow.
So as I thought about and even watched my husband cultivate our crops, I pictured God doing the same with my heart. This too is a process that takes time. It involves work and requires effort on my part. Cultivating a field, or my heart, isn't something that happens with the flip of a switch. But it is job that brings results!
Cultivating removes weeds from our fields and lies, bad attitudes and wrong thoughts from my heart. This task also tills up the soil, so new growth can occur. At times it would be easier for my husband to use chemicals and raise our crops conventionally and we can be tempted to pursue an easier way to connect with God, but He desires a personal relationship with us. There's no quick way to make that happen and no one else can do it for me, or you.
In order to do his cultivating, my husband needs a tractor and a cultivator and friend we need two things as well...quiet time and God's Word. The Bible is the only piece of equipment we need, it is a powerful tool. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." God's Word can do more work than my husband's John Deere will ever do! But we have to open it and be receptive to what He has to say!!
Finally, God also brought to mind that my husband cultivated the same field last year and his dad did the same many years ago. Each new year, the work had to be done again. Cultivating isn't a task we do once and consider it done. Friend, the same is true for our hearts, each season, actually every day, we need to cultivate the soil of our heart so we have a heart for prayer. Only then will new growth take place.
Every year my husband has a goal of producing a better yield than he did the year before, and I believe we should have similar goals in our walk with Christ. If we want to grow closer to Christ and do more for the glory of God our hearts must grow closer to His and that won't happen unless we get the cultivating done!