While studying this morning I was led to the parable of the sower in Luke chapter 8. As I was reading the comments of Beth Moore on the subject, I got to thinking... what, in gardening terms, is the definition of fertile ground. So, I did a little investigating of my own (Mama Shari, aren't you proud... I'll be a gardner yet!) and then viewed it in light of a healthy walk with the Lord. Here's what I came up with:
Fertile soil must be:
1. Rich with nutrients. For any plant to grow healthy, the soil in which it is planted must be filled with phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and nitrogen. When these elements are present the soil is then considered to be fertile.
How like our Christian life. We cannot be a healthy and growing follower of Christ unless we are filled with the proper "nutrients" (the Word of God). God's Word provides all we need for life and godliness.
2. Tilled. The hard ground must be broken up and softened for the soil to be considered usable. The process of turning the soil upside down and inside out also allows more oxygen to flow through, giving it benefits to the plants that will be planted there.
Like the ground being tilled, our hearts must be as well. The hard heart must be broken up and pliable so God can speak and work. Though this is a process that is far from "comfortable", it is a necessary part of being a healthy Christian.
3. Able to retain nutrients. The soil that retains the nutrients is the soil that produces the most growth. The magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and nitrogen all work together to produce healthy growth.
The word of God does that for the believer if we retain and apply it to our lives. When we hear the Word we must allow it to take root and to allow it to penetrate well into our hearts. As the Word dwells in us richly and we apply it to our everyday lives, then, and only then, can we become healthy.