What You Sow Is What You Get
Many believers fail to realize that the sowing and reaping principle applies to all of life. What we sow is what we will get. Some have mistakenly only applied this principle to financial gain. To some ‘giving to get’ is the rule. While with others it is, ‘live to give.’ I prefer the second. As I study the Bible it seems to me true prosperity is simply having enough to share with another in need. Even so, the principle of sowing and reaping does indeed go beyond financial gain.
Jesus, in Luke’s Gospel, says,
Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38NIV
> In context, he is speaking about judging, condemning and forgiving. The implication: if we sow judgement, we will reap judgement; if we condemn, we will reap condemnation; if we sow unforgiveness, we will reap the fruit of unforgiveness manifested as bitterness, anger, slander and emotional or physical sickness. Yet, if we sow love, we will reap love; if we sow forgiveness, we will reap forgiveness and reap the fruit of forgiveness, a clear conscience,and a sense of peace and joy.
The principle of sowing and reaping also reaches into the arena of developing relationships and friendship.
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: Prov 18:24KJV
>Do you want friends? Then be friendly toward others. Do you want to be loved? Sow love. As Jesus said,
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31NIV
>What you sow, is what you get.
Paul in his letters also has much to say concerning this principle. In Galatians, Paul is exhorting the church to be aware of deception and has some straight things to say. He says,
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who 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. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good… Galatians 6:7-10 NIV
We have a definite choice concerning what we sow into our lives. We can live to sow to please our natural affections, or we can live to sow to please the Spirit of God who dwells within our hearts. Our responsibility before God is great. We can sow either good things or sow bad things into our lives. If we want to grow and mature as believers, we need to ensure we are sowing consistent positive spiritual seeds into our lives. We need to be reading and meditating upon the Bible, praying daily, worshipping with others and serving others in practical ways.
It saddens me that some people in reaction to legalism have instructed believers that they do not need exercise time in the basic disciplines of the faith. Legalistic or not, the Bible encourages us to ‘discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness and to
‘Be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth…Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.’ 1 Tim 4:7; 2Tim 2:15; Heb 10:25 NASB
A disciplined life is a life that sows to our spirit. If we stop sowing into the spiritual areas of our lives, we will soon stop growing and even what we think we have will be lost. In order to reap spiritually we must sow to our spirits and sow consistently. This means we must endeavor to embrace the basic discipline even when we are not emotionally up. A disciplined life would best describe this kind of sowing.
According to Paul, we are deceived if we think we can sow bad seeds into our lives and not reap a negative harvest. We cannot view certain things on the internet or on the TV with no effect. We cannot read or look at pornography with no effect. We cannot. Many would disagree yet this is the very problem with deception. ‘It cannot hurt my life.’ is the thought. ‘God cannot be mocked.’ is the reality. What we sow is what we reap. If we sow good things into our lives we will reap good things and if we sow bad things into our lives we will reap bad things. It really is that simple.
Several years ago a pastor of a fast growing church explained the reason for the growth. He explained, ‘The reason we are growing is because someone is reading the Bible, someone is praying, someone is sharing their faith and someone is being faithful in the small things.’
In other words, someone is sowing into the life of the church and a harvest was being reaped as a result.
This sounds too simplistic. Surely there must be more to spiritual growth than this? Just to be careful to sow good things into your life and into your church? Just guard your mind and spirit allowing only good seeds to be sown? To read the Word consistently, to pray daily, to sow seeds into the lives of people you encounter as the opportunities arise, in word, story, and in kindness? To be faithful in the small things?
Too simple? Would not your church and would not your life grow and mature if you were disciplined in sowing the basics consistently? I believe you would grow and so would your church, for what we sow, is… what we reap. It is a spiritual law. There are no short cuts in maintaining a healthy spiritual life. We are who we really are. What we have sown, is what we have reaped.
If you are anemic in your faith, you can begin to grow. You can sow the Word of God to your spirit by reading the Bible and thinking about it’s implications. You can be renewed. You can know the intimacy and reality of Jesus Christ through developing a consistent daily prayer life. You can discover your destiny by being faithful in whatever small things you are given to do, work included. If you have been sowing bad things into your life, you can by God’s grace stop… and turn off the supply. You need to realize that you can change. You can become what God wants you to become if you give yourself to the principle of sowing and reaping.
Will spritual growth happen instantly? After all, doesn’t the modern believer want instant answers with instant success? Does seed grow in a day? Time, is needed. The soil of our hearts may need some stones removed, and some weeds may need taken out. Our hearts may also need watering by the Holy Spirit, and we may need to begin to sow some new seeds by faith. The facts, we will reap a harvest if we sow, if we do not grow weary and if we do not give up. It is a spiritual law…
In my office I have a small sign near my desk. It says, ‘Don’t give up. It’s always too soon to give up.’ The sign sums up the attitude we need in order to see the growing fruit of sowing and reaping. The ‘I don’t care what happens, I won’t give up’, kind of attitude. This determination is a key to faith. Our hearts should say, ‘I’ve decided, it’s settled. My mind is made up. I won’t quit. It is worth the effort. I will sow daily. I’ll stand firm. Nothing will move me. I will always give myself fully to the work of the Lord, because I know that my labor in the Lord is not in vain.’
The harvest is not always instant, and time will be needed to see the desired result but the harvest in our lives will be well worth the effort.
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm…
(James 5:7-8 NIV)
It is, ‘Through faith and patience’ we inherit what has been promised.’
(Hebrews 6:12 NIV)
Keep looking for that valuable crop to come into your life and stand firm. The results you long to see is well worth the wait. Therefore, as you have an opportunity, do good to yourself, to the church and to your world, sowing consistently for the harvest you desire will surely come. What you sow…is what you will get.