Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Don’t Be Fooled: Understanding Sowing and Reaping

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
“God is not mocked.” Paul is speaking of an immutable principle: Whatever you sow is what you will reap. God established that at the very beginning, when He created plants and animals each to reproduce after their own kind, and told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. God also reaffirmed this same principle to Noah when He promised, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). It is true in the natural realm; it is just as true in the spiritual realm. Do not treat it lightly!

It’s a bedrock principle: Whatever you, that is what you will reap.” In his second letter to the Corinthian believes, Paul brought out this accompanying principle: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). Not only do you reap what you sow, but also according to how you sow. You will also reap more than you sow. Jesus said,
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measure back to you. (Luke 6:38)
“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” will be either a blessing or a curse for you — it all depends on what you sow. There’s really only two directions you can go with this: You can sow to the flesh, or you can sow to the Spirit. Here’s how Paul lays it out:
  • He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.
  • He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Sowing to the flesh is thinking that everything we say and do, and how we spend and invest our money is about us. It has no lasting value and results only in a harvest of corruption, decay and a ruined life.

Sowing to the Spirit, on the other hand, is realizing that everything we say and do, and how we spend and invest our money is all about God. It has eternal value and that harvest of a life that is rich and full.

Sowing to the flesh is like a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Sowing to the Spirit is lining up with Jesus, the good shepherd who comes to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10).

Earlier in his letter to the Galatians, Paul made this comparison between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told in the time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we life in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:19-25)
Don’t be fooled. Everything you say and do will either bring life and light, or death and darkness into your world. Choose carefully what will you sow.