Sowing & Reaping

Because of the extraordinarily rainy spring we have had, many farmers haven’t been able to get their crops planted in a more desirable timeframe. This brought to my mind the inexorable law of sowing and reaping.  What you sow, you reap. This truth not only applies agriculturally, it applies to our lives. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 5:7-8).

One of the beauties of natural laws is that they do not change. Every part of the material universe is built on laws. They are consistent; they do not vary. Similarly, there are absolute and unchanging moral laws consistent with the nature of the Creator and His creation.

To one degree or another, most people misunderstand the consequences of their sinful thoughts and behaviors.  Even Christians are deceived—so focused on being under God’s grace that we act as though we can sin without natural consequences.  Scripture is clear: Christians should not continue to sin that grace may abound (Rom 6:1).  We are deceiving ourselves when we think there is not a consequence, and that the natural law will not apply.

If one plants seeds in the flesh, the harvest will be unrighteousness.  “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Gal 6:19-21). Do not be deceived. This warning is echoed in Numbers 32:33: “Be sure that your sins will find you out.”

Even Christians have the remaining sinful tendencies that continue to lead us astray.  Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things.”  We deceive ourselves, and that turns into a license to do what we want, promoting unholy living in the name of grace.

If you are a Christian, you have a choice.  You can walk in the Spirit or you can walk in the flesh. Do not think for a moment that you can walk in the flesh and not pay the consequence. “God is not mocked.”

This principle works in the positive as well as in the negative.  “If we walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).  And the fruit of a life cultivated by walking in the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Gal 5:22). If you walk in the Spirit, or sow to the Spirit, you will reap the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit is what is experienced; you will harvest those virtues. If you sow in the Spirit, your harvest is holiness.

Instead of sowing division, sow peace; instead of anger, patience; instead of inconsistency, faithfulness. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us let us do good to all people” (Gal 6:9).