Scripture References: Jeremiah 4:1-3 & Mark 4:1-20
Our hearts are referred to as soil in many places in the Scriptures. The Word of God is referred to as Seed. In the natural, seed is sown in soil to produce food to sustain us and plants that make the earth a beautiful place to live, not to mention the healing qualities that many plants have when used properly. When we plant the Seed of the Word of God in our hearts it will produce life, beauty, and healing for ourselves and others. But what happens if the Seed is sown in soil that isn't properly cultivated and prepared to receive the Seed? Obviously it will not produce a good crop. The quality and quantity produced by the seed sown is determined by the condition of the soil it is sown in.
One of the definitions for fallow is "undeveloped but potentially useful". Our hearts can become fallow ground if not properly cultivated. They can become dry and unable to produce a good crop. It is a sobering thought to me to ask myself the question "how much of my heart have I left undeveloped but that has so much potential to produce?". Another definition of fallow is "left unplowed and unseeded during a growing season". When we do not stay in the Word of God and we allow our hearts to remain unplowed they become dry, fallow ground. One of the definitions of plow is "to break or turn over earth especially with a plow". Soil must be plowed and broken up before it is ready to receive seed. If you try to plant seed on soil that hasn't been properly plowed it will not take root and produce.
Remember the Children of Israel? Their hearts had become so hard that they didn't even recognize the Messiah that the Scriptures they had diligently studied prophesied would come. It's so easy to go through the motions isn't it? We can go to church, read the Word and still our hearts can be hard, fallow ground. We must keep our hearts plowed up, free from unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and the list could go on, if we want our hearts to be soil that is able to receive the Seed and produce a good crop. In Jeremiah 4:3 God told the Children of Israel to break up the fallow ground and sow not among thorns. He was telling them to return to Him with their whole hearts, remove the idols from their midst and repent of their abominations. I believe that God is saying the same thing to us. We must plow the soil of our hearts and remove anything that will cause our hearts to become fallow ground that is unable to produce a good crop of life, beauty, and healing for ourselves and others. Repent and remove these things. Is there anything in your life that has become more important than your relationship with God, anything that has taken the place that only He deserves. Sometimes these can even be potentially good things. Even ministry or family can become an idol. Anything that takes the place above your personal relationship with God. This is considered idolatry according to the Word of God. He is saying, "Tear down the idols and remove them from their high places and repent of your abominations". God demands first place in our lives. We must put everything else in it's proper place. If it's something you need to get rid of, get rid of it. Or maybe it's something that you simply need to readjust and make sure it's not taken first place in your heart. God is seeking a people through whom He can show forth His glory. Let us be that people. I encourage anyone who reads this article to seek the Lord through the Scriptures referred to and ask the Lord if there is any cultivating we need to do to our hearts so that we can break up the fallow ground and produce the life, beauty, and healing He desires to overflow from our lives, into the lives of others.