My husband grew up on a hundred acre farm. His family raised crops, livestock, and were good stewards of the land. Ron still reminisces about milking and birthing cows, killing hogs, and feeding the livestock. Ron's mother, whom we affectionately call Mamaw, still lives on that same farm, in that same farmhouse that Ron and his siblings were born and raised. At 92, Mamaw leases out some of the land to neighboring farmers, keeping the family indirectly involved in a way of life they love.
At the beginning of planting season, Mamaw telephoned my husband. Immediately, I knew she was distressed. After Ron finished the conversation, I inquired about the call.
“The farmers who lease our front field planted corn for the second year in a row.”
“Say it isn’t so!” I replied sarcastically.
“It's bad for the soil to have the same crop two years in a row,” Ron replied, smiling. Sensing my confusion, Ron launched into…
CROP ROTATION 101
“When the same crop is planted in the same field year after year, the soil becomes tired and stale. The crop doesn’t yield well, pests creep in, and erosion occurs. But when a farmer rotates the crops yearly, it keeps the land fertile and the soil stable by building nutrients.”
“Why did they plant corn in the same field two years in a row?” I asked.
“Maybe they love corn,” Ron laughed. “Probably because they’re lazy.”
With that, a spiritual lightbulb came on in my head.
Am I planting the same crop in my own field year after year by constantly worshipping God the same way, day after day? Is my worship tired and stale? Am I growing in Christ or is the enemy creeping in?
AM I YIELDING PRODUCE?
Throughout scripture, we’re instructed how to worship, such as tithing, gathering with brothers and sisters and taking Communion, spreading the gospel and advancing His kingdom.
As I analyzed my own worship, several scriptures came to mind, including a passage from Colossians:
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:12-17
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. … Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt… – Colossians 4:2-6
In 11 verses, we’re given different spiritual crops to plant in our field.
· Showing compassion
· Loving others
· Reading His Word
· His Word dwelling in our hearts
· Doing all we do in the name of Christ
· Walking in wisdom
· Use our time wisely
· Speaking with grace
These spiritual crops can reduce the risk of becoming complacent, strengthen our spiritual life, and keep the enemy at bay.
That phone call challenged me to practice spiritual crop rotation, worshipping God through many ways instead of the ones I was comfortable with or enjoyed. Hopefully it will keep the enemy away, and will yield the most spiritual harvest my soul has produced in years.