GALATIANS 6:7-10: “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Do I understand the law of sowing and reaping? Usually, in Christian circles, when someone talks about sowing and reaping it is right before they take an offering. However, the majority of the time the Bible talks about sowing and reaping it has nothing to do with money at all!
Paul, in his closing words to the Galatians, reminds them of the law of sowing and reaping. A law is something that is constant. You cannot change it. It is always true. Some took Paul’s teaching as a license to live as they please. They reasoned – If we are under grace, if we have died to the law as a means of righteousness, then it doesn’t matter how we live. To this Paul responded,
- “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”
This is true in the natural world and it is true in the spiritual world. If you plant an apple seed you will get an apple tree. An apple seed will not produce an orange tree or a rose bush. If we live our life with compromise, if we allow sin to get a foothold in our life, we will not reap a life of joy and peace.
- “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.”
There are two aspects to this that we need to understand. First, if a person rejects Christ, if they live their life in self-will and sin, they will reap the wages of that sin, which is death, eternal separation from God.
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NLT
Secondly, if a believer allows their life to become entangled once again in sin, if they live a life of selfish compromise, if they ignore the Word of God and turn a deaf ear to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, they may be saved – but only as through fire. They will allow the enemy to kill, steal, and destroy their fruitfulness in this life and their eternal reward in heaven.
- “But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NLT
You cannot override the law of sowing and reaping. In the computer world it is known as G.I.G.O. – “Garbage in, garbage out.” There is no exception. So what is the answer?
- “But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”
Paul’s whole letter was to encourage the Galatians to walk in the Spirit. We are no longer under the law as a means of righteousness. Yet, the law is fulfilled in our lives as we learn to walk after the Spirit in love!
- “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body, God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit…Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:3-4, 12-14 NLT
The Holy Spirit will always lead us in the direction of love. He will guide us in the pathway of righteousness. He will cultivate in us the very character of Jesus Christ. If we abide in God’s Word, listen to the still small voice of the Spirit, and walk in obedience as we are empowered by grace, we will sow seeds of life that will bring forth a harvest of life.
If this is so simple, why do we struggle with this so much? It is because we look for an instant crop. We are called to sow to the Spirit. We plant – but God gives the increase. He gives it in His way and in His time. You can plant a seed, but you cannot rush its growth. We are called to sow in hope, patiently wait, and know that we will reap in joy. Our call is to sow. God will always bring a harvest – if we do not lose heart!
- “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
Lord, forgive me for the times when I have lost heart. I have sown to the Spirit and then grown discouraged when I did not see the fruit. Grant me the grace to stand in faith – You will not be mocked! If I sow to the Spirit, if I sow in love, I will reap a harvest of an abundant and everlasting life! May I sow Your seed today!
In Jesus Name!