Cultivating the Soil {a devotional}

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations. Isaiah 61:11.

The living oracles of God, “It is written,” are the leaves of the tree of life, which human beings are to eat in order to gain spiritual life. As we eat the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, they become unto us eternal life. “The words that I speak unto you,” He said, “they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The restoring, vital current from Christ heals the wounds that sin has made.

“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.”

Whatever course others pursue, we are individually to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Why?—Because it is God that worketh in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. Yes, for His own name's glory, He works upon the minds and hearts of human beings, who are of great value in His sight, if they will allow Him to work.

When man fell, God commenced to work to defeat the plans of Satan. God works in man. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). In the beginning the Lord enjoined upon man the cultivation of the earth. This work was made much harder because of the transgression of the law of God. By transgressing, man worked against his own present and eternal good. The earth was cursed because through disobedience man gave Satan opportunity to sow in the human heart the seeds of evil. The ground that in the beginning produced only good began to produce tares, and their growth called for continual warfare.

The cultivation of the soil is a school in which man may learn spiritual lessons. As he cultivates the soil, man is to see reflected as in a mirror the work of God upon the human soul. Divine culture brings perfection. If in connection with God the work is carried forward, the human agent, through Christ, will day by day gain victory and honor in the battle. Through the grace given, he will overcome, and will be placed on vantage ground. ~This Day With God, by E.G. White