Daily Devotional

May 15, 2018

Prepare First

Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. – Hosea 10:12

Proper preparation can make all the difference. I hang gutters for a living, but I cannot just walk up to a house and start nailing gutters on. If there are old gutters, I first have to tear them off. Then I have to measure and mark where the rafters are so that I am sure to nail into solid wood. The new gutters also need to be measured, and there are other tasks as well. If I prepare correctly, the job can be easy. However, if I cut corners to save time, quite often it costs me more time because I neglected to prepare correctly.

As Christians, we also have important preparations to do in order to grow in our relationship with God. Attending a church service or having a time of personal devotions is an opportunity to learn of God, but first we want to be sure that our hearts are receptive to His Spirit and the message He has for us. That takes preparation.

For example, what a difference it makes when we pray before going to church. If we ask God to bless the meeting and to help us have open hearts, we will be blessed. A simple song or the reading of a well-known verse can allow God’s Spirit to speak to our hearts the exact message that we need to hear. On the other hand, if we go to a meeting expecting God to do all the work, we will miss out on the blessing. Preparations of the heart must be made first, and then the Lord will meet us and fill our hearts.

Preparing our hearts is crucial for any endeavor we make for the Lord. Before we study God’s Word, attend Sunday school, spend time with fellow Christians or someone who is not saved—before we do anything—we ought to prayerfully bring those events to God and seek His will and blessing. Our walk with the Lord is so much smoother when we make the right preparations.

Today’s verse talks about breaking up fallow ground—digging and cultivating hardened soil. If we plant a garden, we have to prepare the ground before planting or there will not be a crop, and the same is true spiritually. Each of us must prepare our own hearts, and when we do, God has promised to bless.