Sowing to the Spirit

Every single minute of every day, in the spiritual realm, we are sowing seed.  There are two kinds of seeds to sow.  Those are seeds of fleshly things, or seeds of heavenly things.  We all have been given a beautiful gift from God called free will of choice.  It is the choice of each individual person alive which seeds we will sow.  It is a choice.  God’s word does tell us however, that what we sow, we shall reap.  As we venture into this lesson, I encourage you to ask yourself, what seeds am I sowing now, and what will the harvest from that seed be? 

Handout: Sowing to the Spirit
Teacher’s Guide: Sowing to the Spirit

Galatians 6:7-9 “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.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Many of us have heard the saying, what goes around, comes around.  This is just a summary of these verses here in Galatians.  It is just the natural order of things.  If you plow up the earth and you plant corn seeds, come harvest time you will get corn.  If you plant watermelon seeds, you will reap, watermelons.  We can never plant potatoes and then get beans.  It doesn’t work that way.  This same low for the physical world, goes for the Spiritual.  When we sow seeds to the flesh, we will reap harvest of the flesh, and when we sow seeds to the Spirit, that is what we shall reap, a harvest of the spirit. 

You may be asking, what is the seed and harvest of sowing to the flesh and of sowing to the Spirit?  Let’s go to God’s word and see what it says.

The Fleshly
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 6:8a “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;”
Proverbs 10:29 “The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.”

The Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Ephesians 5:9 “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.”
Galatians 6:8b “But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” 

That’s pretty plain isn’t it.  We can choose life, or we can choose death.  We can choose to serve this flesh and do what it wants, and reap the destruction of it, or we can choose to do the hard thing and sow to the Spirit and reap life, joy, and peace.  The choice is ours to make.  I think of the words in Joshua 24:15 that says “Choose this day whom ye will serve.” 

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:  therefore choose life, and both thou and thy seed may live:”

We cannot serve two masters Jesus said in Matthew 6:24.  We must make a choice.  Everyday of our lives, we are going to be sowing seeds, why not sow to the Spirit and reap life?  Why not just sell out fully to Christ and believe God’s word and do what it says?  There is joy to be gained at harvest time. 

Let’s go to Matthew 13.

Matthew 13:1-9

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.  And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;  And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:  Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:  But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 13:18-23
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

The parable of the sower that Jesus told is such a beautiful and brilliant way to teach us about God’s word and sowing seeds.  We know in His explanation that the seed here is God’s word. 
Wow, it says the one that received the seed into the good ground is one that hears the word of God, and understands it.  It gets planted in the heart and so that one not only hears but does what it says so that a harvest can come forth, in other words it has been planted! 
God’s word is good all the time, but do really understand that and know how to make it effective in us so that we not only hear it, read it and study it, but that we let us change us? 
Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s word is alive and active.  If we are not changed by it, God’s word is not at fault, it is flawless.  If we are not changed by it, then it is our own fault for not letting that seed be sown in our hearts so that we are healed by it.

I am thinking of a something I recently heard from a person who does mission work around the world.  She stated that the missionaries will go to help feed the people in villages that are so poor and hungry and they will give them seeds to plant so that they will continue to harvest food for later.  She said that many times, the people are so hungry that it is too risky in their minds to plant the seed, and instead they will eat it from fear that it will not bring a harvest later. 
Don’t we do that with God’s word many times?  We read His word, we hear it preached or taught and we are moved by it.  We are touched and we cry and we rejoice and we are spiritually fed, but it never takes root in our lives.  We have only eaten the seed.  It has fulfilled an immediate need but will not reap a harvest later because we did not sow it in the soil of our reality.  We hear the messages of faith, of forgiveness, of freedom that Christ brings, and we glory in them, but then we go back home and we live in disbelief, we live in condemnation to our past sins, and we stay in our strongholds of sin, and in our addictions.  Why is that?  Because we have eaten the seed and not planted it! 

How many times have you and I cried and thanked God for His forgiveness of our sins and marveled at 1 John 1:9 but then go right back and ask God to forgive us for sin we committed ten years ago that we already repented of?  When we keep doing this, it is a slap in God’s face of pure unbelief, and we reaffirm the belief in our own minds and hearts that we are really not forgiven.  We have to stop just eating the seed, we have to let it be planted in our hearts and do what it says so that we are changed, and healed!

This is exactly what James is teaching in chapter 1.  In verse 8 it says that a doubled minded person is unstable.  He goes on to tell us to do what God’s word says.  This is how we sow the seed of God’s word in our hearts.

James 1:22-25 “22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

In order to sow to the Spirit and reap life, peace, and joy we must do what God’s word tells us to do.  In life we will come to those crossroads and we must make a decision to either forgive those who have hurt us, or not to forgive, we will stay bitter or we will surrender it to God, we will hate our enemy or choose to love them, we will live in integrity even when someone has lied about us and believe God to defend us, or we will try to defend ourselves in anger.  There are so many choices to make, and it is very hard to choose to do those things against the fleshly nature when we are angry, hurt, and wronged, but God promises us in His word that those who sow to the Spirit in tears, shall reap a harvest of joy. When we get God’s word planted, deeply rooted in our hearts and in our minds, it will change us and we can do those things which are hard to this fleshly nature so that we can reap later in rejoicing and joy!  It is a promise of our Almighty Father!

Psalm 126:5-5 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”
Choose to live skillfully.  Choose to do what God’s word says no matter how hard it is for the flesh, because those that sow in tears shall reap in joy!  Praise You FATHER!

Dear Righteous God…
I bow humbly before You today, just thanking You for everything You are and everything You do for Your Children.  Thank You for Your Beautiful, Life giving Word.  Father today I ask that You help us to not just hear or read Your word, but to allow You to plant it in our hearts.  Father embed it deeply in our very core so that we can stand and do what is right.  Father we want Your Word planted in us so that we will reap the good things You have in store for us.  Father we want to bear much good fruit for Your glory and Your honor so that the name of Your Lovely, Precious Son Jesus will be lifted up.  Jesus I praise You that You have made a way that we can bear much fruit, that we can choose life and peace instead of destruction and death.  Father I ask You to help us be wise and strong so that we can do those things which bless Your heart and bring You great pleasure.  You are so worthy of all Praise, Glory, and Honor.  Father please help us to please You.  I ask that You help those who are physically hungry and those who are Spiritually hungry.  Have mercy on us and help us Lord because without You there is no hope, but with You all things are possible.  Thank You for all that You have done, for supplying our need. We will ever love You.  In the name of wonderful Jesus we pray.  Amen.

August 5, 2012