STOP THE INSANITY!

HOSEA 10:12-13: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.” NKJV
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OBSERVATION: Have you ever thought – “This is insane!”? A colloquial definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We can see traces of insanity in our personal lives and the life of our nation.

The current racial unrest that we are experiencing is a throwback to the 1960-1970s. I lived through these tumultuous times. I remember being in the crosshairs of racial rioting in the very corridors of my High School. And, I remember the proposals that were supposed to end the strife. If we only had more programs, more education, more tolerance, more understanding, and more government subsidies. Does this sound familiar?

After almost 50 years, countless programs, and billions and billions of dollars, we are back to square one. And, politicians and pundits are proposing the same remedy as they did over 50 years ago. If we only had more programs, more education, more tolerance, more understanding, and more government subsidies. To be honest, this seems to be the height of insanity.

What is the disconnect?

The disconnect is sin and personal responsibility. We have redefined almost every form of sin that is revealed in the Bible and have relabeled it sickness or addiction. We cannot hold anyone responsible for being sick or overcome with addiction. Then, we have pointed the finger for our problems at everyone else other than ourselves. It is the government’s fault, my parent’s fault, the education system that has failed me, and the lists go on and on.

We continue in our brokenness and the cycle of insanity because we fail to look within.

Hosea prophecies to Israel and gives them an honest assessment of the mess that they find themselves in. Looking at God’s impending judgement through the nation of Assyria, Hosea writes,

  • “You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.”

Israel couldn’t blame anyone else for the impending judgment. They were reaping what they sowed. They plowed wickedness and they reaped iniquity. James, in his epistle, declares the same thing in a personal way.

  • “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James‬ ‭1:13-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What do Hosea and James agree on? Personal responsibility! We may have been dealt a bum hand in life but it is our choice of what we do with it. We can allow our circumstances to control our life, we can buy into the victim mentality and blame others, or we can take personal responsibility for our situation and do something about it. So, what does God call us to do?

  • “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. “

First, we need to break up the fallow ground of our hearts. In West Texas, the sun is so hot, and the rain is so limited, that the ground forms what is known as a “hardpan.” This is a hard layer of dried dirt that keeps anything from germinating. You can throw seed onto this ground and nothing will grow. You first have to break up this “hardpan” and then you can sow seed. Breaking up the fallow ground of our heart is a call to repent of our sin and take personal responsibility for our actions!

Next, we need to start sowing seeds of righteousness. This means that we need to align ourselves with God’s Word. We need to seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We desperately need His wisdom and we must earnestly desire His understanding. Wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective. Understanding is learning to apply the principles of His Word to our daily lives. And, as we seek the Lord, we need to embrace His mercy for our lives. This mercy must also be extended to the lives of others. We must forgive those whose we have blamed so long and begin to pray for God’s mercy and blessings upon their life.

What will happen? The insanity will stop!

God will answer our repentance, our personal responsibility, our obedience, and our mercy – with the outpouring of His love and righteousness. The sin that we could not overcome will be broken. The unforgiveness that we harbored in our hearts will be washed away by His mercy and grace. The broken patterns of living will be replaced with the pathway of righteousness and healing.

Before I committed my life to Jesus Christ I was a very angry young man. I could not identify the source of my anger, yet it affected every area of my life. I treated my mother poorly. I had a very short fuse. And, I always thought other people were out to hurt me. I was caught in a cycle of anger, hurt, and frustration. When Jesus came into my life He washed me with His mercy, forgiveness, and love. It changed how I viewed life and others. I will never forget the day I drove in my car and shouted (with my windows rolled up), to everyone I saw – “I love you, man!” I was free!

I have learned that it is never insane to repeat something that works. When I feel that life is getting the better of me. When my attitudes begin to slip. When I am tempted to fall into old patterns and blame others for the situation I find myself in. I repeat what I know will work!

  • “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. “

Lord, this morning, keep me from insanity. Help me to run to You, break up the fallow ground of my heart, sow seeds of righteousness, seek You with all my heart, and wait for Your rain of mercy, forgiveness, and love!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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