[Dr. Don: “This is an apostolic message preached in other nations that seems to apply to America right now.”]
There is a difference between speaking Truth and preparing people to receive Truth. We have been called to do both, and Jesus has a strategy for both.
Beware the simplistic perception that all we are called to do is “faithfully” communicate Truth. Of course, we must be faithful to preach even if no one listens, as Noah preached for 120 years to a mocking crowd and Jesus preached to a generation that killed Him for what He said. On the other hand, we must avoid the perception that we are called to hand out Truth like lollipops and hope people like the taste.
God says to me, “Like Noah, I am giving you a ‘now word,’ a message that will challenge the existing and prevailing spiritual conditions, that will test the people to reveal the prevailing spiritual conditions in their lives. I am going to prepare the ground, the people, the atmosphere, for a season of greater planting, and I’m going to turn up the volume on your voice in the regions to which I send you. So this is a season of preparation that will expose the hearts of men and the dominant spiritual conditions of the regions.”
Jesus on Plowing
Jesus discusses the preparation of soil by differentiating four soil types. I think we could see these are broad illustrations of how people are prepared to receive Truth. “The seed is the Word of God.” We could also discuss what can be done to prepare the field so the Truth is sown in good ground.
Plowing Prayer and Preaching involves all of us who share apostolic assignments in a preparation process. The assignment comes with strategies that apply spiritual authority and power to the present conditions.
The first category is “hard ground.” In the field, there is a path upon which people walk through or those working the field move around. This “hardened ground” does not receive the seed because it has been pounded down with feet, rain, sun, and neglect. It has not experienced a plow.
The “walked on” ground the most popular path.
Just try to pray or preach into this popular. You can throw Truth at it by the bucket-fulls without breaching the topsoil. It is as if you have not spoken the kingdom Gospel at all.
This ground needs a breaker anointing. We prepare to release a breaker anointing by plowing prayer and preaching.
The ground needs spiritual violence to turn it upside down. It requires a new identifier that removes the sign that reads”pathway” so people change their traffic patterns. It needs a new declaration, “Don’t tread on me!” It needs to be set free from the abuse of false relevancy. It must cease being fallow.
Fallow ground has a buried and inaccessible purpose. It no longer has a sense of its purpose. It cannot pursue the highest of its purpose. It just lies there and gets walked on. It attracts the lukewarm, uncommitted, shallow, and surface slush wanderer. It attracts demons who carry away the seed sown. Truth becomes the demon diet because they flourish where Truth fails to penetrate.
Jesus says in the parable, “The birds of the air eat the seed that is sown on hard ground.”
Preach or Pray?
Of course, I’ve heard both extremes on this subject. The preaching people say that we don’t need warfare prayer because there’s power in the Word. The prayer people usually feel unappreciated because their work lacks proper recognition, and they tend to exaggerate their work to gain some appreciation.
The Truth is that both prayer and preaching are strategic in getting a harvest from this ground.
While plowing prayer can open the ground to the depth that exposes its purpose, plowing preaching alone can sow the strategic Word of The Lord to the location.
Shallow because of offense, the seed takes root in thin topsoil but lacks the depth of soil needed to gain strength and maturity. Immediately a test comes, in the heat of the day, the living of the life that the Truth commands, the person withers away because the person refuses to deal with offense. The plow must expose the root so the axe is laid at the root.
When we apply to a region or nation, we find that prayer can leverage the stones of offense that keep the work of God from gaining depth and establishing strength, or to the extent that offense thins out the topsoil with stones, persecution withers the progress of growth. Thin soiled receivers are quitters.
Between the popular pathway and the thin-soiled quitters, we have pretty much identified most of modern America’s population.
Churches with stones in them cannot produce people with a capacity to live beyond the thin soil of offense. They are offended by Truth once Truth exposes them to its demanded obedience.
The stone of offense must be leverage out of the ground. The stone must be piled up as fence or defense, a landmark of testimony. The stones of offense causing thousands to stumble and quit must be leveraged out! Plowing prayer and preaching will expose the soil where roots grow deep into the land.
Seed sown in the plowed ground also encounters an existing root system.
Plowing prayer exposes existing root systems. These root systems have entrenched and embedded claims on the land. These previous claims may receive the Truth sown but never allow the root system of Truth to produce the lifestyles and kingdom culture that bear the “more fruit” and “ripened or matured fruit” of transformation and Reformation.
The existing root system must be cleansed from the ground! Plowing exposes the existing root system! It will liberate the soil so that it produces only kingdom fruit. The previous claims will continue to sap away life and strength, choking the word with cares and deception if we do not plow this soil with prayer and preaching.
Many regions and nation are like Ephesus in that a the existing principality intends to be the source and resource. Instead of them depending upon the Creator and Redeemer who can make these regions and nations storehouses, refuges, and hubs for the kingdom culture.
A city or region may suffer barrenness even when the sown seed is royal. The previous claims choke the growth of kingdom culture and purpose. Mere exposure is not enough. The existing root systems must be removed.
Jesus describes the roots systems as “the cares of this cosmic order” and “the deceitfulness of economic wealth.”
“The cares of the world” always answer to the priorities of the world system. The deceitfulness of riches always answers to the distraction that bring substitutions, of trusting what cannot be trusted to produce God’s purposes.
The systems of hell that entangle land with distractions and deceits must be pulled up by the roots so the word sown will produce without being strangled.
God says, “There is much work to do. This is not a season for meditation or contemplation but warfare, action, the work of kingdom preparation. I will examine your hearts to surface the priorities of your passions. I will bring to account the entangles that must be unwrapped from the root systems of your souls. I will send the plow to where the seed planted will go deep and spread a new system of life and living.”