Recently, I've been studying the Jewish roots of many of Yeshua's (Jesus') parables, and I came across an interesting saying from a Jewish Rabbi that I believe has something to teach us.
"Break up your fallow ground." "Fallow" means "hard". A hard heart cannot love; and often cannot even receive it. A hard heart will block relationship with God and with others. Whatever the cause; anger, woundedness, bitterness, unforgiveness, the result will be a superficiality in relationship, an inability to empathize, and a corruption of your motivations.
There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing. The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice!
Anyone who has traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland has probably seen the Edinburgh castle. It is a tower of seemingly insurmountable strength. However, long ago that castle was attacked and seized.
One constant pitfall we must watch for is taking credit for something that God does in or through us, or using the gifts and callings of God for self-exaltation. In that light it may be easier to handle poverty, weakness, or insignificance, than wealth, ability, power or authority, since poverty and frailty are not normally things we boast about, and they cause us to recognize our need for God. Prosperity, gifting, and anointing, on the other hand can be powerful temptations, leading to pride, covetousness, and self-sufficiency.
It's good to bring those things in our lives, which are hidden in the darkness, to the light. Many times we are slaves to them and we don't even realize it! We will go through a few devotions on this topic this week. God wants us to be free, so that we can be available for Him!