Years ago, I was sitting in the office of a friend who is a precision ag agronomist. He helps farmers be precise in their farming techniques so that they get the most out of their operation. Other than the free seed hats I took home that day, I also took home an unforgettable illustration!
Every farmer knows that their fields can have multiple soil types in it (especially around here). Some soils are better than others. A field can have sandy, rocky stuff on the hilltops that hold no moisture and then heavier, darker soil in the low spots that hold more moisture and nutrients. Obviously, the better soil produces better yields. Yet, for a long time, precision agronomists tried various ways to try and make the poor soil types more productive by pumping things like fertilizer into them. But after years of testing, they finally realized that the poor soil just wasn’t going to produce the yields they were after no matter what they did. The only answer (and many farmers do this by the way) is to bring in better soil by the truckload and dump it on top! You’d just be better off investing in your good soil that you do have!
This is a wonderful illustration for sowing and reaping like we talked about on Sunday morning. We only have two fields we can sow in – the flesh or the Spirit. The flesh is poor soil that always brings forth weeds and destroys whatever you put into it. The flesh profits nothing (Jn. 6:63)! It’s dumping your precious resources in the trash! It will always be bad soil! You will never see a return on your investment in poor soil.
However, the good soil of the Spirit is always a wise investment that God will reward now and in eternity. Invest your resources in the good soil!
In Galatians 6:7-10, Paul encouraged us not to lose heart or grow weary! Why? Probably because he knows it’s not easy to choose to invest in the good soil. Farming is hard work! While weeds come up naturally, crops must be cultivated and cared for. He also knows, like every farmer knows, that the planting season is short! Sow “while you have opportunity!” he says.
Oswald J. Smith, in his book Passion for Souls, shared a story about two farmers:
“[There were] two farmers. The one takes a look at his fields and says to himself, ‘I would like to have a crop this year. However, it is none of my business. There is nothing I can do about it,’ and with that he goes into his house, sits down in front of the open grate fire and prays for a crop.
The other farmer says, ‘I, too, would like to have a crop this year and there is a great deal for me to do. I am sure I can have one if I do my part.’ He [prays and] goes to work. He ploughs the ground. Then he plants the seed and after he has done all that he knows is necessary, he then looks to God to send the sunshine and the rain and with perfect confidence, looks forward to the days of harvest.
Which farmer would you prefer?”
I think we would all agree that one farmer is irrational and making excuses. The other is humble, has faith, and understand he plays a part in the harvest. Let’s be like the second farmer who trusts the Lord and humbly keep sowing! We will reap a bountiful harvest soon enough!
Farming with you in the Lord,
Pastor Justin Schefcik 1/9/2022
1 Oswald J. Smith, The Passion for Souls, (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1964), 117.
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