The other day my wife and I took a walk around our property. We have a large ravine that cuts across the back. About four years ago I had a fella redirect some rain water runoff. He made a trench about 1 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep, directing the water to the ravine. On our walk we were shocked to find that the trench is now literally 60 ft. wide, 25 ft. deep and nearly 100 ft. long. What a tremendous loss!
Like trenches formed by the rain, our minds develop processing paths according to frequently repeated situations and actions. So the more you do something the easier it becomes to repeat, whether good or bad. The Old Testament contains many stories meant for examples or spiritual allegories. The promised land represents the soul that has the opportunity to be transformed by the life of God. Psalms 65 refers to furrows (irrigation trenches) that bring water to the land. These represent the well established and often visited means of communion we experience with God. By spending time in his word, praying, singing songs to him, we encourage production of the furrows that send life giving water to our soul, producing an abundant harvest. However, if we neglect those opportunities for communion and merely live according to the natural man, we establish trenches which continually supply a flow of natural, carnal reasoning and activities which are contrary to the Spirit and deadly to your soul. Those trenches keeping you joined to sin are not so easily filled in and if left unaddressed will undoubtedly cause a tremendous loss!
Fortunately,… “his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue.” (2nd Peter 1:3). This includes His gift of a self controlled mind. It is not called the “God controlled mind” but the self controlled mind, which you exercise by the strength of his Spirit. Resisting the tendency to follow the old paths, and rather being nourished by his word and increasing in knowledge, you will desire to obey His Spirit and avoid those things that draw you back into sin. By intentionally pursuing God’s Spirit, furrows that flow with the life of God will become firmly established, while those old trenches of sin will become untraceable. For the mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6.
The “soul” of man is just one aspect of his being. It is not surprising that land or soil is spoken of as representing this aspect of our nature. Whatever a man sows, that also shall he reap.(Gal. 6:7). Jesus also referred to different conditions of soil that would make it either resistant to seed, incapable of sustaining life, or conducive to healthy growth. For the soil which has drunk the rain that frequently comes upon it shares the blessing of God (if it) produces herbs for those who cultivate it. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected and soon will be cursed – whose end is to be burned. (Heb. 6:7-8). Yet, three aspects make up the whole of a man; the spirit, soul (mind) and body. The spirit that exists in all men is the receptor/connection to the spiritual realm. It is not the Spirit of God, but simply the spirit of man. The soul (mind) retains information and leads in the physical response. Since you were born, the natural senses of your body have been receptors, collecting information about the life you live, and serving to shape the person you have become. These circumstances and information are the seeds of life that are planted in the land of our soul. Because of the sin nature passed on to us from Adam, our minds were fitted to easily receive information that would be contrary to the Spirit; soil in which weeds would thrive. So the soul of man naturally became darkened. Also since the fall of Adam, the spirit of man has been without the life of God. Land that seldom sees rain (communion with God) becomes hard and unmanageable. Even with the aid of the farmers plow, dry land turns to dust and is blown away with the wind. But as a seed must go into the ground and die before it can bring forth life, so the dead spirit of man can be made alive by the light of Gods life as he joins his Spirit to ours. And through the nourishing showers of our communion with him the land of our soul begins to bring forth the fruit of his life! Thus God begins to transform (sanctify) the soul, creating in you the likeness of his son.
Therefore, His Spirit is ever urging us to live in obedient relationship to Him. It is imperative that we would not be stopped or even slowed from this which is so necessary. That is why the Apostle Paul admonished the believers to, …”put away the deeds of the flesh” and, …“throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.” Through ungodly conversation or relationships; entertaining improper or lewd thoughts and behaviors, we hinder our growth and our knowledge of Him. God warns, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Through our knowledge we gain understanding and insight. And through understanding and insight we grasp a hold of the principles that build the foundation of our relationship to our Heavenly Father.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. To some, when they stand before him, having neglected their salvation, he will respond, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” (Matt 25:12). Rev 3:2-3 warns us, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
God’s warnings come from his desire for relationship with us; that we would be likened to a fruitful branch, a plentiful harvest, growing by the nourishment of his life. For one day, if we endure to the end, there awaits the complete revelation of our Savior in his glory. No longer will simple irrigation trenches be sufficient to channel the overflow of provision. Revelation 22:1-5 Gives a metaphoric picture of the unhindered, uninterrupted Eternal Life of God flowing freely and abundantly from his throne. Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.