Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sow, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
In Part 1, we learned...
1. We reap much we did not sow.
2. We reap the same kind as we sow
As we discovered in What Are You Sowing? sometimes we are the fortunate (or unfortunate) recipients of what we did not sow and other times we reap exactly what we sow, for better or for worse. As we delve further into The Law of the Harvest we find more of what may seem like “unjust” consequences.
3. We Reap in a Different Season Than We Sow.
When I think back to my grandfather and of all those who share in his farming profession, they sure have a grasp of this law. In fact, it seems clearly obvious - you plant, and a season or two later, you hope to reap.
Back in grade school I had an assignment to plant a seed in a jar with hopes of growing something. It seemed like it took forever for a sprout to appear and nothing I did would make it happen any sooner – more sunlight, water, nutrients, nothing. It was a matter of waiting for the season of “harvest,” and the same goes for us in many ways.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:14).
This has to be one of our most despised topics in the Bible and can seem like a cruel sanction against the unmarried – waiting.
We spend time in His Word, we get involved and serve in ministries, we put ourselves out in social settings and activities, and we even join on-line dating services, but still don’t “find” that special person, instead we hear “just wait on the Lord” (and for the third law of the harvest to take effect).
Through the years I have found this law to hold true in other areas like, what “seemed” to be futile at times, the effort put into the lives of young people has not only become a ministerial highlight, but also a source of some of my most treasured relationships. I could have never envisioned the hours spent sowing decades earlier would result in seeing amazing mature men and women of god, receiving encouragement in return, opportunities to join them and their families on occasion and lifelong friendships.
For what I have sown in the past, I am reaping now and in abundance - the fourth law of the harvest.
4. We Reap More Than We Sow.
When we sow unconditionally not expecting anything in return, our “reward” will oftentimes come in many different forms and for many years to come. I regularly feel unworthy of the love and friendships I have received as a result of (just) time I invested in others.
Perhaps you have been serving for years never realizing the fruits of your labor. Maybe you have stayed "pure" waiting for the “right” one to come along. Take comfort in knowing you will be amply rewarded for your faithfulness….someday.
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed (Proverbs 11:25).
A number of years ago, a woman in Brazil named Augusta received a prophetic word and vision to be the nanny for a specific family in New York. She was hired and did whatever she was asked, singing in Portuguese as she worked. When Kenya, the woman of the house who understood the language, asked why all of Augusta’s songs were about Jesus, Augusta told her she was sent to share the gospel, lead them to Christ so they could be in ministry.
That couple was Stephen and Kenya Baldwin.
Since then, Stephen, well-known Hollywood actor, has teamed up with Evangelist Luis Palau’s son, Kevin, to produce outreach films and events targeting the skating community. He is now often referred to as a Jesus Freak by his family and colleagues in Hollywood and is known for his outspoken conviction.
Just as a small seed from a farmer’s hand can produce an abundant crop, Augusta’s small seed of faith from Brazil has reached thousands of young people throughout the United States and beyond, all because of her obedience to sow the seed she was given.
5. We Reap in Proportion to what We Sow.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well (Ecclesiastes 11:4-6).
There are so many benefits of technology; however, I am convicted by this passage at how much I use and depend upon it in my everyday life.
Oftentimes before I decide to do something, I check the current and projected weather, I determine if there is traffic between me and my destination, I retrieve any messages which may need my immediate attention, I check to see what and where others are at that moment, etcetera.
I allow myself to consider so many things at times it’s difficult to even make a decision. Some may call it overthinking a situation, others a waste of time and effort, but simply put its stagnation by complication.
Instead of worrying about all of the possible outcomes in every situation, Ecclesiastes says to just do something.
Periodically I run into this dilemma when I come upon someone in the street. How did he end up there? What do I give him? I wonder how he’s going to spend it. What if he uses it for something other than his sign states or what I don’t consider “worthy”? Does he really need it at all?
Instead of having all of the answers and knowing all of the circumstances sometimes we’re just supposed to sow, and let God deal with the rest, including what we may (or may not) reap as a result.
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6).
We have all heard stories of those who gave out of obedience and received the exact same amount back in some other way, and I’m sure we’ve all felt like we’ve sowed with nothing to reap. Don’t get caught up with “things needing to be fair,” whether it is or not in reality or in our mind, it shouldn’t matter.
Jesus told Martha, “You worry and fuss about a lot of things. There’s only one thing you need. Mary has made the right choice, and that one thing will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).
Make the “right” choice in how you sow and don’t worry about when, what and how much you reap.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to email@example.com. Find him on facebook and twitter.
Publication date: August 27, 2013