It has been said before in one form or fashion that life is made up of the small moments rather than the large. The “big” decisions in life are rather minimal and ultimately will not shape the fabric of a person as much as the everyday decisions that he makes. Nevertheless, a constant temptation in the heart of a man is to look off into the future at the next big moment. This causes a sense of restlessness in the heart and a discontentment that robs one of his joy. Staying in the moment is important, and giving attention to those around you is what God desires.
God also desires that every decision a person makes would be forward progress toward Himself. While this is true (and may be an obvious statement), it is potentially equally obvious that people can get overwhelmed with continuing to try to do good when they so often fail. One of the greatest assaults against a person’s strength and motivation is discouragement.
If a person knew that if he simply kept trying to do good, it would all pay off, then he would probably keep trying. Nevertheless, the great unknown of the future often depletes a person’s passion and replaces it with apathy when all he sees is failed attempts.
It would seem at this point that another major problem in the mind of man is that he believes he should see results sooner than what he is actually seeing. In someone’s fight against sin, he may start trying to do good and think that he should be cured in a month or even a year, yet he still finds himself battling. As a result, he starts to grow weak and weary and is no longer prepared for battle.
But what does the Scripture say? How can one find his footing again? The Word of God is always the Christian’s guide, and through it, the Holy Spirit will revitalize your life. Ultimately, it is the thinking of a person that needs to change. Allow the Scriptures to renew you by the transforming of your mind (Rom. 12:2).
Sowing and reaping in all of life
It is an important point to ponder that in all of life, sowing is being accomplished. Scripture says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7-8). The Christian must remember this point or come back to it if he has forgotten.
In each and every decision, a person is either sowing to his flesh or sowing to the Spirit. Middle ground does not exist. Every step is either a step toward God or a step away from Him. This may seem daunting, but do not forget the grace of God that meets the Christian in his attempts and in his failures.
Each seed that a Christian plants has purpose. Nothing in life is without meaning. Even the most mundane of moments when people are with their families will possibly be the most important times to pay close attention to the sowing and reaping dynamic laid out in Scripture. People can let their guard down in their home. They can turn on autopilot and start to coast. It is an easy area of life for temptation to laziness to creep in. However, the Christian must not let this happen. The Christian must remember and think on the law of the harvest. What you sow, you will in fact reap.
If a Christian looks all around himself and sees weeds, it is because he sowed those weeds months or even years ago. If a Christian looks around and sees beautiful plants and flowers flourishing, it is because he has sowed good seed for some time. Yet again, if a Christian looks around himself and sees weeds starting to sprout up in the midst of his beautiful plants, he must get to work and examine his life. The reason for this is that somewhere along the way, he has started to sow bad seed.
Sowing and reaping in due time
It is also important for the Christian to think about the way that sowing and reaping works. The sowing and reaping that is spoken of in Scripture resembles that which occurs in a garden. If someone was to go out and plant a garden, he would not expect to benefit from its crop and its fruit that same day. So it is also with sowing to the Spirit. Sowing to the Spirit takes time. Reaping the benefits also takes time.
Another interesting point to consider is that if you plant your seed in a garden and do not tend to your garden, the seeds will eventually grow. However, the weeds will spring up faster than your plants and begin to choke out your crops. The same is true for sowing to the flesh. It is unfortunate, but sometimes it seems like going backward in life is easier than moving ahead. Weeds grow faster than good plants, as do the negative consequences of sowing to the flesh.
Nevertheless, God has promised that you will reap a harvest in due time if you do not give up (Gal. 6:9). At the end of the day, the Christian must walk by faith and not by sight. When all Christians see around themselves are failure, reasons to despair, and less than desirable results, they must remember that God has said in His Word that the day will come when a harvest will be reaped if they continue to do good.
Sowing and reaping in your relationships with all people
Paul ends this portion of Scripture by highlighting two groups of people. The first group is unbelievers. The second group is believers. In other words, Paul has the entire human race in mind when he informs people of their need to do good to others. It is interesting to note that when Paul discusses sowing and reaping, he does so in the context of others.
Yes, personal devotion times are important. Yes, people must make sure that they are spending time with God on a daily basis. Yes, these times prepare the heart of man for the day and the work ahead. However, these times will only get a person so far in what it means to be like Jesus.
As Jesus walked the earth, He did so in the context of relationships. Jesus’ ministry by its very nature was relational; hence the word ministry. A person can only grow so much spiritually if he isolates himself from others. It is in the context of relationships that much of the sowing and reaping in life is done.
If a person is not around others, they will not be able to sow. If a person does not sow, there will be no seeds that have the opportunity to grow. Love needs soil to be planted in, as do patience, joy, and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit.
The soil for planting is present during times of interaction with others. Whether someone is a believer or not, the soil for planting is there. Plant good seed while you are with those who do not know Christ, and especially plant good seed while you are with the children of God.
It is important in all of life to remember that each decision you make is either sowing to the flesh or sowing to the Spirit. It is also important to remember that you will reap a harvest in due time if you continue to sow to the Spirit. Finally, it is imperative that in all of your dealings with others, you recognize the soil that is present and sow to the Spirit.
Father, I thank You that You have not given up on me. I pray that You would also help me not to give up on You and others. I can grow tired and weak, and sometimes I find myself believing lies. Help me to remember what Your Word says when I go astray. Help me, Lord, to remember that I must, in each moment, sow to the Spirit. Teach me how to persevere and look to the reward of the harvest that will come in due time. Help me to be a light and a witness in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.