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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
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Independence, Missouri

 BREAKING UP the Hardened Ground- First Steps towards PERSONAL revival

[b]BREAKING UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND[/b]
Revisiting C.G. Finney and the issue of hardness of heart.

Break up your follow ground for it is time to seek the Lord till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Hos. 10:12.

The Jews were a nation of farmers, and it is therefore a common thing in the scriptures to refer for Illustrations to their occupation, and to the scenes with which farmers and shepherds are familiar. The prophet Hosea addresses them as a nation of backsliders; he reproves them for their idolatry, and threatens them with the judgments of God. My design in this Lecture is to show how a revival is to be promoted.

A revival consists of two parts: as it applies the Church, and as it applies the ungodly. I will speak on this occasion of a revival in the Church. Fallow ground is ground which has once been tilled, but which now lies waste, and needs to be broken up and mellowed, before it is it is ready to receive grain. I will show, as it applies to a revival in the Church

1. What it is to break up the fallow ground, in the sense of the text.

2. How it is to be performed.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/25 13:04Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: BREAKING UP the Hardened Ground- First Steps towards PERSONAL revival

[b]HOW CAN I KNOW IF MY HEART HAS HARDENED TOWARDS GOD?[/b] (Robert Wurtz II)

This is a most important question. It is impossible to cover all the areas. Yet, very specifically I think that hardness of heart is the direct result of the deceitfulness of sin. Based upon Hebrews 3, the hardened heart is an unbelieving heart. A heart that no longer rightly responds to God's word. A person that truly believes God will respond rightly to the teachings of scripture.

What is the enemy of saving faith? Answer; the [i]deceitfulness[/i] of sin. The enemy offers the elixer of some 'opiate lie' to numb down our sensibility. The conscience is number by the lies of the enemy and they no longer 'feel' in a particular area. They can sin and know mentally it is wrong but the force of the conscience is never leveled upon the heart.

A hardened heart does not 'receive' the word of God. The hardness caused by the deceitfulness of sin renders the word of God of none effect in their life. One could listen to a thousand sermons and the 'over seeding' has little benefit. Why? Because you cannot resist the Holy Ghost and receive the word at the same time. You have to STOP resisting the Holy Ghost and allow the word to come in and bear fruit.

What are the results of resisting? You can sin and not feel conviction. You can perpetually sin and the conscience does not rise up. You can walk amongst high handed sin and not be vexed from day to day. Your hatred of sin is not the same as it once was. This is evidence of hardness of heart. The solution? We must come into personal revival. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us back to brokeness and a readiness to receive what the Lord is saying.




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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/25 13:19Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b]I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BREAK UP THE FALLOW GROUND.[/b]
(C. Finney)

To break up the fallow ground, is to break up your hearts, to prepare your minds to bring forth fruit unto God. The mind of man is often compared to the ground in the bible. The word of God is the seed sown there, the fruit representing the actions and emotions of those who receive it. To break up the fallow ground therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state that it is fitted to receive the Word of God. Sometimes your hearts get matted down, hard and dry, until there is no such thing as getting fruit from them until they are broken up, and mellowed down, and fitted to the Word. It is this softening of the heart, so as to make it feel the truth, which the prophet calls break up your fallow ground.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/25 13:21Profile
enid
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Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2664
Nottingham, England

 Re:

Good searching article.

Glad you have broken the article up so that it is easier to read. I guess you are practicing what you're preaching!

Whilst we know brokeness of heart and spirit is necessary for revival in our lives, we don't yield to God as we should.

We fight. We want to be us. We don't want to lose our identity, whatever that is.
We fight God and lose out.

We stay at the same spiritual level, year in year out, day in, day out.

We want revival without any pain on our part. Without any sacrifice. Why?

Let us seek God to open our eyes to Him, His will, His desire, and pour scorn on our own.

We can only win. God bless.

 2006/9/25 13:42Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Enid,

Quote:
We want revival without any pain on our part. Without any sacrifice. Why?



I am careful as I revisit this lecture not to give the impression that this is some sort of 'self-help' type thing. I believe that God leads us into personal revival. When I say 'personal revival' I mean just 'mere Christianity.' Walking in the Spirit and being sensitive to God. Walking with the Lord with a [i]clear conscience[/i] and free from controversy with Him.

My experience is that the cares of this life tend to grab hold a little at a time of my affections until I am not walking in my 'first love' experience with the Lord. This results in a sort of drifting away from God that creates a struggle between my will and God's will. I have always found that subjecting myself to the things of this world 'weakens' me as a believer. It weakens my resolve. Yet, when I get alone with God or simply remove myself from the influence of worldly things my strength seems to automatically return.

I believe all believers need to walk in the Spirit free from areas of 'hardness' of heart. These may exist and we not realize it. In worse cases folk start playing with sin and soon they are numb to it. Things that used to bother them no longer do. Things that used to 'vex' their righteous soul from day to day no longer have that piercing effect. in some extreme cases we are told that the 'dog will return to it's own vomit again.' The dog returns to the very thing that made them sick in the first place.

I want my heart to be tender before the Lord. I want to be sensitive to God's heart and feel as He feels towards things. I don't want to 'quench' the Holy Spirit in areas where I am falling short until I don't feel conviction anymore. What deception? To think one is OK because they don't feel conviction. It could be a case of hardness of heart. One of the first steps to personal revival is to admit, [u]I need personal revival[/u]. No matter who I am and what I believe. I can preach repentance and believe in Christian Perfection and still come to a place where I need to return to my First Love or need to 'break up' my fallow ground.

On the flip side I want to also be careful not to try to over step the prerogative of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will put his finger on things in our lives and He expects us to deal with them. When we quench those promptings, we are on the road to hardness. Soon we don't 'feel' in that area like we should and there needs to be sincere repentance and a brokeness before God. There needs to be a breaking up of the fallow ground so that God can plant the seed of the word in that area and it will remain fruitful.

Some have taken this all too far. Suggesting people are going to hell because they don't have enough prayer or because they eat certain foods, etc. I think this is dangerous. We need to simply remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit and not try to take our own sanctification into our own hands. Our job is to be obedient and remain sensitive to God as He deals with us. God deals with issues one by one. He has His own plan to make me into the Image of Christ from day to day. He is the Potter and I am the clay. My job is to remain pliable in His hand.

You ask, Why? No pain no sacrifice, Why? Because we don't want to give up [i]control[/i]. That's what fulness of the Spirit is all about. It is about coming completely under the authority of God. This is sanctification, being FULL of the Holy Ghost. But again, this is what is hardest for a human being to turn loose of. Oh, folk will come to church and maybe even sing in the chior. They can even preach or teach a class. But being FULL of the Holy Ghost is to offer ourselves up to God as a living sacrifice. Our lives are almost as a burnt offering before the Lord. None of self and all of Thee.

Handing over control is the great obstacle. We want our autonomy. We want the right to exercise that God given ability to [i]choose[/i]. Strangely enough, one may not have a single area pending where they consciously plan on making a choice contrary to God's will... and yet the person still not want to surrender their will to God. It's almost as if some folk worship their own will itself. They want to make the decisions. This is why I believe so many folk never come into fulness. They want the keys and they want to drive (Reidhead).


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/26 8:34Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

[b]How Is the Hardened Ground To Be Broken Up[/b]
(C. Finney)

It is not by any direct efforts to feel. There are great errors on the subject of the laws which govern the mind. People talk about religious feeling as if they could by direct effort, call forth religious affection. But this is not the way the mind acts. No man can make himself feel in this way, simply by trying to feel. The feelings of the mind are not directly under our control. We cannot just will or decide to have religious feelings. They are purely involuntary states of mind. They naturally and necessary exist in the mind under certain circumstances calculated to excite them. But they can be controlled indirectly otherwise there would be no moral character In our feelings, if there were not a way to control them.

We cannot say, "Now I will feel so-and-so toward such an object." But we can command our attention to it, and look at it intently, until the proper feeling arises. Let a man who is away from his family bring them up before his mind and will he not feel? But it is not by saying to himself, "Now I will feel deeply for family." A man can direct his attention to any object about which he ought to feel and wishes to feel, and in that way he will call into existence the proper emotions.

Let a man call up his enemy before his mind, and his feelings of enmity will rise. So if a man thinks of God, and fastens his mind on any of God's character, he will feel, emotions will come up by the very laws of mind. If he is a friend of God, let him contemplate God as a gracious and holy being, and he will have emotions of friendship kindled in his mind. If he is an enemy of Cod, only let him get the true character of God before his mind, and look at it, and fasten his attention on it, and then his bitter enmity will rise against God, or he will break down and give his heart to God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/26 8:45Profile
myfirstLove
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Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


 Re:

amen, robert. i agree breaking up the fallow ground is the first step to revival. i had to do this last year. it hurts to see your heart in His light. to see sin the way God sees it, but thank God i allowed Him to purge me! i know now my heart is clean and my mind is not a war like before. God is continually in my thoughts and i desire to please Him. everyday i allow God to examine me. there maybe hidden sins that i can't see and i need to ask God to search my heart to see if i have grieved Him in any way and when He does show me something, i ponder it, seeing my intent and how grievouse it was to Him and that makes me weep.

Psalm 139:23-24 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)

23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


i confess it whole heartily and i know and believe God has cleanse me from that filth and i go on and continue to walk free from sin.

1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

i do desire that first love experience again. remembering when i first met my Love and how madly i fell in love with Him. i want to be so crazy about my first Love again. this is what i am seeking after now. now that my heart is all broken up and i have allowed God to consume all sin, i am seeking a fresh touch from Him that will burn me up, until i know He has all of me and i have all of Him!

i remember back then when i was walking very close to Him, was truly worshiping Him in SPIRIT, i was always in continual prayer, seeking Him out behind close doors and fasting much, doing what i saw the Father doing, never moving haste and religouse works. fasting and prayer was a lifestyle to me, not a struggle. i would pray and each time i lifted my voice, i KNEW it reach the throne room of God and that i have His attention. and it wouldn't take long for my prayers to reach His throne room and that i am in His presense. He would wake me up almost everynight to traivail in prayer for others or to know His heart and He would burn His message in me and i would for days blow the trumpet and preach what he had burned in me. but now my prayers take alot longer to be in His presense, not like before. but i'm not frustrated because i believe my Love is leading me back to a closer communion with Him again!

this is the desire He has put in my heart and i will not stop until i have reach the goal He has place before me!

bless you, brother for encouraging the body. it is so importand to break the fallow gound of our hearts or else we will not hear the voice of our Beloved.


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Lisa

 2006/9/26 12:03Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
He would wake me up almost everynight to traivail in prayer for others or to know His heart and He would burn His message in me and i would for days blow the trumpet and preach what he had burned in me.



It has been my personal experience that the thrust of my spirituality and personal revival was God initiated and God 'fueled'. There have been times when I was exceedingly aware of the presence of God and I would see Him at work in ways as He would wrend the Heavens and come down. Seemingly simple things, that would touch my heart and lift me to almost escatic heights.

I give my personal testimony of this season in my life in a message called [url=http://64.34.176.235/sermons/SID3795.mp3]THE LOVE WE HAD AT FIRST. [/url] It deals with how we need to get back to our 'first love'. I don't think I have taught a more searching message than this one. The Church at Ephesus was commended for their love. Yet in time they left their first love. It is a tragic story, but one that I believe we need today.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/27 7:58Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
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 Re:

[b]CONSIDER THYSELF (GALATIANS 6:1)[/b]
(Robert Wurtz II)

Both Jeremiah 4:3 and Hosea 10:12 deal with breaking up the fallow ground. In Hosea the Saints are depicted as going like a harlot after other lovers and abandoning God’s love. The prophet under inspiration tells the people…

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. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men (Hosea 10:12, 13).

How can a person break up their fallow (unplowed) ground? Simple. Go back and revisit what made it hard in the first place and repent. This requires a serious time of reflection and examination before the Lord. Jesus calls it in Revelation 2 “doing your first works.” So many people never spend enough time in reflection of all their sins (that they can possibly recall) until their is a brokenness before God for what we have done. Psychologists have people recall all the bad things that happened to them so they can blame others for their problems. God says to the backslidden [i]“break up the fallow ground of your own heart.”[/i] Recall when you quenched the Holy Ghost and made a hard spot in your heart and started the process of leaving your first love.


Here is the crux of God’s argument against the backslidden people in Hosea, your heart needs to be as tilled up as would be a farmers field at seed time. Go back and repent and repent and repent until you are broken enough to be in a place where the seed of the good word will bring forth the fruit God designed. Who ever heard of a farmer sowing seed on unplowed ground? Plowing is a lot of work, but the indictment against the sinner is that they plowed all sorts of wickedness. They grabbed the plow and tore up with great pain and labor all sorts of Gods work in their heart. Consider this. And now its time to reflect and do the first works of repentance.

I recall during the drought of 1979 and 1980 here in the midwest that the ground was exceedingly hardened. We lived on about 2.5 acres and we wanted to have a large garden. My uncle brought his old Allis Chalmers tractor down with the old tricycle front end and commenced plowing. He was a bit agressive I'll admit. That was his personality. But I can't say I was prepared for what I saw when I looked out my back window towards the garden spot. He was plowing the yard and the front of the tractor was about 4 feet or more off the ground! He was riding a wheelie trying to [u]plow[/u] the ground up. the earth must have seemed almost like concrete and that old tractor was taken to its limit plowing that yard. I was told later that he had to run the disk over the ground 15 times breaking up the large clods trying to 'mellow' the ground. It was an unforgetable picture of 'hardness'. What labor it took to break up that fallow ground.

What about believers in the Church? How is their heart? Would we admit that there is hardness? Modern Christianity says don’t think about what got you here, just keep on asking for forgiveness. God says in effect, get about the work of breaking up the fallow ground of the hardness of your heart.

Go back and remember what God forgave you of- so your love for Him will not grow cold. Keep his great mercy ever before your eyes by [u]considering yourself[/u] and your own sins (Galatians 6:1). This does not dig up condemnation church- it digs up appreciation for what God has done and it keeps you humble before God. Are we like the pharisee sitting around wondering why the woman is crying all over the Lord and kissing his feet? if so, its because she knows her sin and she loves much. God forgive us of our arrogance and excuses for blocking out our sins until we had no love left.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/9/27 8:20Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
We cannot say, "Now I will feel so-and-so toward such an object." But we can command our attention to it, and look at it intently, until the proper feeling arises. Let a man who is away from his family bring them up before his mind and will he not feel? But it is not by saying to himself, "Now I will feel deeply for family." A man can direct his attention to any object about which he ought to feel and wishes to feel, and in that way he will call into existence the proper emotions.



Have been musing on similar thoughts lately, opinions and emotions, how they are formed, "feeling's". Seems far too much of life is directed and ruled, governed by this ...

Quote:
There are great errors on the subject of the laws which govern the mind. People talk about religious feeling as if they could by direct effort, call forth religious affection. But this is not the way the mind acts. No man can make himself feel in this way, simply by trying to feel. The feelings of the mind are not directly under our control.


[i]casting down evil imaginations[/i] comes to mind. Good word here brother


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Mike Balog

 2006/9/27 9:29Profile





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