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The Fallow-ship of the Believers

Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”

 
I have for some time now been talking about what I call ‘the business-end-of-grace’ challenging those of us who know that Christ is evidently on the inside to be able to demonstrate the presence of the indwelling life with evidence on the outside. 
 
The message of the believer’s union was never meant to produce mere intellectual professors of faith in the Son of God, rather its goal is to manifest possessors who live by the faith of the Son of God: Living by one and the same source that He lived and lives by, loving the same things in the same way that He loved so that we might be able to say with genuine bewilderment to those in our orbit who enquire of the Lord - “have you been with me so long?” 
 
But some how we (and I include myself in this) have drifted away, we have not, in the main pressed-in to the fullness of our life in Christ as us. 
 
Now there is no scolding or a rebuke of any sort to be found here but a challenge to be who we really are. We are called to be a FELLOW-ship of believers not a FALLOW-ship but fallow is what so many of us in the grace community have become. 
 
I am experiencing a divine pulling sense in the very depths of my inner-man such as I have seldom felt before that the time has really come for me to seek all that is possible in the Lord. Here’s what I am sensing, perhaps its a thought that is peculiar to me and has no resonance or witness in your spirit: But this is the word of the Lord for me for this moment - Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
 
My observation is that there is a lot of fallow ground in the grace community. The metaphor is fascinating; those of us who have come to know (at an intellectual level) that Christ is our life represent the land that lies fallow. Fallow land is land that has been ploughed and harrowed but - and here is the crucial bit - has been left unsown. For most of us when we come to the grace message, we go through a period of doctrinal-detoxing the goal of which seems to be to correct all that ridiculous fear-based-control-centred-legalism that had been our staple diet throughout our religious lives. The process is or was in my case a painful letting-go; a letting-go of self and self-effort. It was a dispensing once for all of transactional salvation and a burning of my Christian to-do-lists. I had swapped my wrong-believing for ‘right-believing’ and Luther like there I stood ... 
 
The plough of New Covenant logic had turned the earth on which I had previously stood upside-down. The harrowing of grace had broken up the clods of performance-based Christianity: gone were the ever-growing weeds of self-effort and uprooted was the seed of fear that flowered effortlessly in and out of season. 
 
These last twenty-years or so I have lived without fear of condemnation and that it has to be said were it the sum of all that the Father had for me would have been more than enough. 
 
However, that as not all, not at all! You see the thing is that the Lord didn’t bring me (or any of us) into this new understanding in order to give us correct doctrine, he brought us here in order to give us as our possession that which all men have if only they knew it, he came to give us His life. Life as he has it. 
 
And that brings me back to the text; fallow ground is ground that has been ploughed and harrowed but has not been cultivated. It has been left unsown. Oh dear I can’t believe that I am about to say this, but, it has been swept and cleaned, yet left empty and dare I say it the ‘devil’ that went out will come back with seven of his most religious, self-righteous-grace-pharisaic-friends and take up residence in our hear and our last condition (self-righteousness) will be far worse than our first condition (unrighteousness). The time has come for us to sow righteousness and steadfast love in order that a root of love may spring up within us that the world around and about us may come and eat freely of the fruit of our resurrected lives. 
 
I have been speaking on the narrow gate during our recent meetings so I won’t reprise them again here but draw you again to Jesus words in the same chapter of Matthew’s gospel Matthew 7:16 You will recognise them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 
 
I fear that in our attempt to rightly divide the word of God we have in fact divided THE WORD in such a way that never the twain shall meet; when in fact ever-the-twain-shall-one-unified-whole. We have imposed choices upon us which were never intended to be alternatives: faith or works instead of faith-works, word or spirit; instead of spirit-filled-word. 
 
We have halved that which is whole and are left wondering why we have an anaemic gospel. A house divided against itself self-evidently cannot stand. As I have said previously and others before me have said far more eloquently: there can be no inward life that is not also an outward life. Look if the Holy Seed has taken root in us then He will bear fruit in us so get dig up that fallow ground and prepare for harvest - a harvest for others. (Gal 5) agape 
 
 
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