“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV)
No one told me that this process would be just that, a process. It is why I believe this Bible verse reminds us specifically to “not become weary in doing good.” That line in itself gives me a huge amount of comfort because it shows that many have gone through this process before me, due to the fact they understand the fatigue and emotions that come with the process.
Sowing is the process of planting seeds.
First things first, you have to have fertile, debris free soil. You can’t sow seeds in bad soil because nothing would grow. God goes through this process with you digging up the rocks and old dead plant roots. That starts as getting rid of all the bad habits, bad and inhibited thoughts and thought patterns. He takes you out of denial and shines His light on the truth and the truth (His truth) sets you free. He then tills the new fertile soil and prepares it for planting. This is the process of renewing the mind. Our minds must be renewed in order for the new truths to grow and stick.
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:23
Next, you need to be aware of what you are sowing because that will affect the outcome of what you harvest. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. “
Spend some time reflecting on what you have sown in the past & what the outcome (harvest) was. What do you want your future harvest to be?
The growing process can become the most difficult part & where I believe the phrase “Growing pains” really comes from. I believe this is the most crucial part of the process that if we do not endure and we “become weary,” we give up and in turn lose the upcoming harvest. You wouldn't say " this is taking too long so I'm going to cut down all crops before they were fully matured and ready for harvest,” when we get frustrated and impatient with the process. No you wait patiently after sowing the seeds before you can harvest the plants.
Our focus during this part of the process should be caring for the growing plants. Our attention should be maintaining optimal conditions needed for growth, weeding, watering and protecting the growing crop.
What that means for us in the meantime:
- Submitting to the process. Submission entails; Humbling yourself, Obedience to God (big or small). When you've planted many seeds you have to surrender to the process of waiting, so the seeds you've planted have time to grow. You don’t want the fruits/crops before they are ripe. In the same way we do not want our blessings to come before we are prepared for them. Many of us want the harvest of our seeds right away but, if they are not mature they will end up being useless. Remember, scripture says “at the proper time we will reap a harvest.”
- Do not forget to LIVE while waiting for the harvest. Most of us get so caught up in the future & the harvest, that we forget to LIVE! Tomorrow is not promised and is not a sure thing. If we only live & enjoy our lives during the harvest season, we will find we are never joyful. Embrace where you are. Take in everything this season has for you.
- Don’t forget to REST: “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. Exodus 34:21
The season of reaping and gathering crops. The product of labor; fruit or fruits.
The season we all want (that is if we have sown the right things). The season we long for. If we have sown good things, we will reap good. The crops are ripe for the picking, the barns are overflowing.
A few things we need to remember:
- Do not forget (or become prideful) where they harvest comes from, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7
- Praise the Lord. Give Him the glory. “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.” Proverbs 3:9
- Do not be stingy. I think the automatic human response when we obtain a lot of something is to hoard it and save it for only ourselves, to not tell anyone we have it. In God’s Kingdom it is quite the opposite. We are to give in ALL seasons (sowing, growing and reaping) and be a “joyful giver,” as that is pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 9:7). It also shows God in our lives, believers and unbelievers.
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:12-14
- This process is not a one time thing, it is ongoing through each season. “While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22
I wanted to end this with amazing lyrics from a song by Hillsong United (Desert Song), as it is so perfect for what I have expressed today.
“This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow.”