Cultivate the Soil of Your Heart and Build Deeper Intimacy With God.

Four Steps To Spiritual Growth

Dearest Reader,

Once we begin to establish a daily quiet time with God and build deeper intimacy with Him, what is the next step?

“And he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'” Luke 13:6-9 (ESV)

Cultivating the soil of your heart is the next step in building deeper intimacy with God. 

We are created by God with a longing to know Him and a hunger for more of Him. When we are not cultivating that intimacy, our hearts will wander to other things.

How do we begin to cultivate the soil of our hearts and nurture our souls?

Four ways:

  1. Digging away.
  2. Feeding and nurturing.
  3. Pruning. 
  4. Allowing a season of rest and dormancy.  

Digging away from the roots, giving them room to grow, cultivates the soil of your heart. 

This past spring, we transplanted a Hydrangea from a pot to the ground. Before we moved the plant, it was a thriving plant with abundant blooms. Within days, our hydrangea had gone from thriving to dying.

Upon closer inspection, the grass had grown smothering the plant. My Sweet Man worked around the base of the plant, digging the lawn away and giving it room to grow. Thus, she is now thriving and spreading.

We too must dig away distractions, idols, sin, and all the things that choke our spiritual growth.

Besides tending the roots, we must nurture and fertilize the soil of our hearts.

Digging and cleaning around the roots is not enough. We have to feed and nurture our hearts. What we take in will manifest outward.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:19 (ESV)

When left to its own devices, the heart is deceitful and will lead us away from God. Therefore, we must continuously meditate on, sit with, and spend time with God through prayer, listening, and His Word. Nurturing and fertilizing is not a one-time thing; it is a moment by moment, daily going to the stream of Living Water.

Pruning dead branches and non-fruit bearing limbs is necessary to cultivate the soil of your heart. 

“For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.” Isaiah 15:5 (ESV)

The season of pruning grows near; soon, our pear trees, Black-eyed Susans’, and perennials will need trimming. I breathe out a heavy sigh as my Sweet Man lops off branches and trims our once-abundant blooms wrenching my heart with the sound of his pruning shears.

When my heart and soul need pruning, it is painful. I do not like it.

 Freedom and growth follow pruning.

Freedom follows pruning. Lopping off useless things in my heart, idols, distractions, and self-centeredness makes room for freedom.

Selfish desires and idols are cut away.

Though the pain of the pruning runs deep, I’m not soon to forget what I learned, nor the peace gained in my soul.

Dearest One, here is the most important thing we must know, next season’s fruit will be more vibrant, brighter, and abundant after pruning.

A season of dormancy and rest will cultivate the soil of your heart. 

A season of dormancy and rest is hard. It goes against today’s culture of busyness, doing, striving, and being all the things. Dormancy and rest require trust and faith in Almighty God. The truth is, we can never be all the things, only God can and is. To presume so is arrogant and self-inflated. It is self-sufficiency and control at its finest.

“For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.” Leviticus 25:3-4 (ESV) 

Contextually Leviticus contains the commandments that God gave Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. In addition to being commandments for the Israelites, I believe there’s a message for us.

There is a time to rest, a time to refill and nurture the things of God in your soul. Resting and refilling come through a daily time of listening, prayer, the Word, and building a deeper intimacy with God.

It is learning to be and be with God. Nothing. Else.

Spiritual growth does not happen on its own. Spiritual Growth requires investment, consistency, and intentionality.

Dearest One, can you relate to any of these? If so, would you share them with me in the comments below, or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com?

I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

PS: Catch my in-depth teaching: What We Have In Common With the Disciples from Mark 8!!

If you have been following my Instagram Stories, by now, you’ve heard about the H.E.A.R. Method and H.E.A.R. Journal. I would love to have you join me on this journey. The H.E.A.R. Method of studying the Bible has taken me more in-depth than ever before! If you would like to learn more email me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word