What is Redeeming the Dirt?

 
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13,14
Since I have sort of coined a new term, “redeeming the dirt”, I thought I should take this post to further explore and explain my intended meaning.
By redeeming the dirt I mean the process or journey of seeking to bring glory to God through our agriculture.
As Christians, we are most familiar with the word ‘redeem’ as it relates to what Christ has done for us. Christ has redeemed (or saved, ransomed, liberated, rescued) us from our sin through his death on the cross in our place.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”       Titus 2:11-14
Now, by redeeming the dirt I am not implying that we can in any way redeem agriculture in the same way that Christ has redeemed us. Obviously we don’t pay the penalty for agriculture to save it from sin. That’s ridiculous. However, what we can and should do as Christians is seek to apply the redemption of Christ to every area of our lives, including agriculture. We do this by seeking to be obedient in those areas. By allowing the law of Christ to root out wickedness and disobedience, and plant seeds of righteousness and obedience.
See, before we were saved we were slaves to sin (John 8:34). This sin extended to every area of our lives which, again, includes agriculture. This sin resulted in wickedness and unfruitfulness. However, when we repented and believed the gospel, God applied the redemption of Christ to our lives and saved us from our sin. Now we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, or in other words, to be obedient to his commands. This obedience results in fruitfulness and God’s blessing. So, in a sense, we as Christians can (and should) redeem our dirt from the curse of our sin by seeking the blessing of the Lord through our obedience. And this obedience, this fruit, is what brings Glory to God.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  John 15:8
 
So how exactly does this impact our farming? How exactly do we redeem our dirt? Well, here are three things I think we should be doing to help us bring God greater glory through increased obedience:
1. Farm for the Right Reasons
       If we recognize that God created us and owns us, then we should naturally look to Him for the intended purposes of farming. It doesn’t matter how good our production methods are or how productive our farms are if we are doing it for the wrong reasons. Our heart motives must come from God. These reasons are what give us our testimony and set us apart from other farmers.
2. Learn from the Master Farmer
       When we recognize that God is the source of all knowledge, then we should naturally look to him for the wisdom for how to farm. It wouldn’t bring glory to God if we understood his purposes for our farm, then said, “Got it! We’ll get right on it and come up with some way to get it done.” That’s arrogance on our part. We should be looking for him to teach us how to farm.
3. Trust in God’s Power
       When we recognize that God is the source of all power, then we naturally look to him for the power to make our farms successful. Even though we may be properly motivated and use God’s wisdom, we still can’t make our farms successful. We can’t make plants grow or control the weather or even have the strength to get out and work sometimes. Only God can control his creation and give us strength. Our job is to be faithful and leave the results of our work up to him.
Basically, before Christ saved us, our farms were based on the motives, methods, and muscles of man. Redeemed dirt, however, (or born again dirt, as I like to call it) should be based on God’s motives, methods, and muscles. This will result in obedient, God-glorifying agriculture.
We should realize, especially as farmers, that fruit does not appear overnight (except maybe in the case of okra). The sanctification and redemption of our hearts and our farms is a process that depends on the grace of God. Our job is not to figure out how we can do it all today in our own strength. That frustrates me so often. I have found that God wants me to rely on him to lead me step by step.
Here is some practical advice for beginning to redeem your dirt tomorrow:
-Start the day by dedicating it to the Lord, as well as your farm and the days work. Ask him to change your heart and give you the proper motive of love for everything you do. Ask him to give you wisdom for accomplishing your work. Repent of pride, and acknowledge that you can’t please him with your farm apart from his strength. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength.
-Throughout the day, make it a habit of going to the Lord for wisdom for every decision you have to make. From, “Where should I plant the carrots?”, to “Where should I sell my produce?”
-Ask the Lord for help in everything you do. He can give you the strength when you get tired. He can show you better ways to feed the chickens. Don’t think that you can do anything on your own.
-Focus on being faithful. Leave the results up to God. Neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes it grow.
-Begin to read your Bible as a farming manual. Keep notes of what God teaches you. Although the Bible is not a detailed manual that provides us with all the details we need to know about agriculture, it does provide an understanding of those details that we wouldn’t be able to have without it.
On this blog I hope to help us consider in more detail exactly how God calls us to be obedient in our farming. I want to see Born Again Farmers around the world begin a journey of seeking to glorify God though their farms. I want to see the whole Church rise up and take back agriculture for the Kingdom of God by not only farming, but also by being willing to support Godly farming. I believe this will result in not only the spread of the Gospel of Christ, but also in the most successful farms the world has ever known. Let’s redeem the dirt!

13 thoughts on “What is Redeeming the Dirt?

  1. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend your conference. However, I am interested in getting you book, as well as beginning a dialogue with you…perhaps via email? I have much I’d like to share with you, and would welcome the ‘theological exchange.’ Please let me know he best means for us to communicate. I look forward to hearing from you! Blessings to you and yours!

  2. Greetings from South Sudan in Jesus name,
    I do so much like your concept and all that The Lord is doing through your ministry at such a time like this when God is showing more grace to raise Africa. God let us to the Edenkeepers farming we are doing now, I would love to continue connecting with people of like passion. However, in which country is the conference taking place in order to see whether I could afford to attend.
    I have subscribed to your newsletter.
    Thanks and God bless you

    • It is good to hear from a brother in South Sudan! I am glad that you are seeking to honor God with you farming. The conference in the USA, pretty far from your part of the world. I would recommend contacting the people at http://www.foundationsforfarming.org to get in touch with people in your own area.

      God bless!

      Noah Sanders

  3. Thank you for your blog. It is very encouraging. I feel called to a career in agriculture but often struggle to see how it could have an eternal impact on the people around me. It is one thing to feed them physically, but this world is passing away. They need something that will last them for eternity. Your writing helps me to see how God can use agriculture to feed people, not just physically, but spiritually as well. I look forward to getting your book. God bless!

    • Glad to hear about your heart for both the Lord and stewarding His land! If there is any way I can be of assistance or further encouragement to you please let me know.

      Regards,

      Noah

  4. I’m an electrical engineer from Cape Canaveral Florida. We bought twenty acres in N Georgia. I know nothing about farming but felt drawn to raise my two year old twins in a farm environment. I began to study books on farming furiously. Sold my house and moved to the farm (working my EE job remotely), but because of contract issues I an back in Florida renting a place working my EE job (We feel like Moses and the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness). We ask for prayers to give us the courage to turn it all over to God, and let Him do His will in our lives, and not our will. Yours in Christ .

  5. Someone referred me to your website and we found it very interesting on the work you and your organization is doing.

    Just to let you know a little about us, we are a Christian Community that live in a agrarian lifestyle. we have develop in the last 40 years individual and community homesteads and a nationally know craft village, what holds it together is the faith towards God and the commitment to one another. This intentional community has grown over the years and we would love for you to come for a visit or vise versa.

    Note: We are not of the grid in Texas but would feel that in some countries that would be the approach.

  6. Oh, this is so encouraging… yes and AMEN to what you’re saying. We have an old dairy farm in Pueblo County, Colorado. When we were praying about buying the property, the Lord spoke and said, “Redeem the land”. I thought that meant fix up the barn and milk-house and the 100 year old farm house. Little did I know that 2 years later I would be in the fight of our lives (and for our land) with the marijuana industry that has moved into our farm and ranch land, is buying it up, and building large metal warehouses in the middle of pastures, and raping our land of it’s resources. A grow house has even stolen our name for use for their operation for “recreational” and “medical” use: “Beulah Valley Farms.” Beulah = Married, as you probably know from Isaiah. It is heart breaking and yet we know that we, as farmers and ranchers, are called to defend our land against the darkness that has taken over the minds of our elected officials who are rolling out the red carpet for the industry. But God is certainly leading the charge for us.

    My personal vision for the land is to grow Quinoa, since that is the ancient grain of many of our indigenous people’s ancestors. They have the identity of hispanics, but DNA tests are showing more and more they are from people’s more closely related to Inca. And the obesity and diabetes rate is very high, so quinoa would heal them. We just have to purge the land of the fertilizers and pesticides that are being used to grow pot. And btw, it takes 2 to 3 gallons of water a day for one pot plant. That will be 30,000 gallons of water per day for the ONE grow house being constructed just down the road from our farm. It is sickening.

    Please pray for us. I will continue to read your blog for inspiration and support!!!!
    God bless you!!!
    Carole

    • Carole,
      Thanks for sharing! I am praying that God will use you to be a light in the midst of the darkness. Just focus on Him, and not on the circumstances. Keep us updated on what you do with Quinoa!

      God Bless!

      Noah

  7. Brother noah..I am a young agricultural christian graduate from Nigeria. I have passion for animals to be raises God’s way. I read your book-born-again dirt. It was a blessing. I’d love to have your e-mail sir…..please

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