"An Inside Perspective"

February 2009

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Have you ever looked out over the fields while you are driving? They may be plowed but lying fallow. Fallow land is land that is plowed, and then left seedless during a growing season. It is land that is marked by inactivity. Land that is left fallow can become hardened and sun-baked as weeds of every sort begin to dominate the landscape, causing it to look barren.

The Lord spoke strongly to the children of Israel in order to correct them concerning the fallow ground in their lives. It is written, "For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns."

Israel had become complacent. They had slowly drifted into the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them. They had become acclimated to the ways of the heathen until it became the norm for their lives. Complacency is rarely sudden. It is a process of letting down your guard one small compromise at a time. Then before you know it, practicing the deeds of the world around you has become the norm of your life. Has the constant droning of this world's system caused you to become complacent in your walk? Has your Christian witness, as the fallow field, become marked by inactivity? Does it look barren?

Perhaps the fallow ground of your heart has been broken up a bit with this recession's financial crisis? Have you lost some savings that you worked very hard for? Do you know that God is in the crisis business? If He can't get your attention through the pulpit and your heart remains fallow, even sun-baked and hardened, He will bring a crisis that will show you where your heart is, and even more importantly, where it ought not to be!

Perhaps your savings was your security blanket. Although you may have said you trusted in the Lord, secretly you may have trusted in mammon just like the rest of the heathen. What has this recession's financial crisis revealed about where your treasure is? It is written, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

We also struggle here in prison with the temptation to conform to this world and to compromise daily. The "prison system" has a life and culture all of its own. Day in and day out we are tempted as Christians to let down our guard and conform to the system. We must stay alert, and as Christians, we must never compromise? You might think, "They're locked up, what do they have to worry about?" Well, let me remind you, we are tempted daily with drugs, stolen food, sex books, the sensuality of the TV, solicitations from homosexuals, disobedience to unruly officers, etc. I could go on, but needless to say we must stand fast. For the Christian in here or out there, compromise is not an option.

It is written, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you." Sometimes breaking up the fallow ground in our lives does not pertain to sin issues. At times, we just need a fresh filling of His Spirit. Other times we may want to seek the Lord to see if we are still in the center of His will. Perhaps we sense a change of direction coming but don't know exactly how or where.

I am personally in a place like that right now. By the grace of God there is no sin in my life but I feel the Lord is perhaps prodding me in another direction concerning my job. He is breaking up my fallow ground. I have been in the greenhouse for a year and honestly, I love working with my hands and being outdoors. But is that really where the Lord wants me? He may have just placed me there for a season. He's certainly given me a ton of illustrations for my writings, but is that my created purpose? Some days at work I think, "What am I here for, what Kingdom purpose does this greenhouse job actually serve?" It is a high-paying, coveted job, but frankly, I would give it up in a heartbeat and work for nothing to serve these men daily.

I think back on my days in Trenton and how I was filled with joy daily, while serving the men there. I was able to counsel, witness and disciple men on a daily basis for more then ten years. That was my calling; that was my heart; that was my created purpose.

I am now praying the Lord to open a position for me here to do the same thing under our new Pastor, Larry Akins. We are of the same mind. Please pray with me on this as it is beginning to burn in my heart like a fire. I feel the Lord is calling me back to that work. Thank God for broken-up fallow ground!

Take the time to reflect beloved. Have you become complacent? Are you marked by inactivity in the Body? Perhaps the Lord has a specially designed crisis for you if you do not . . .


Joyfully in Jesus,