by Linda Rex
One of the lessons I learned as a farmer’s wife years ago was the importance of planning ahead for the harvest. I remember that we had some pasture ground that was not growing well and needed to be reseeded. Being the city girl that I was, I just figured we needed to go somewhere and buy some grass seed and plant it. Simple enough.
But it was explained to me that there were a multitude of grass types that could be planted in the pasture. And in order to have a crop that would provide the proper nutrients for our cows that would enable them to produce the proper milk and so on, we needed to plant a particular combination of grasses. Apparently it does make a big difference what type of grass seed a person sows in his or her pasture, since what he or she sows there determines what will be reaped in the end in the health and well-being of the cattle which graze there.
This lesson of reaping what you sow was rehearsed many times over for me during my years on the farm. The apostle Paul used reaping what you sow as a way of explaining the importance of setting one’s hope and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ rather than in one’s own self.
In our verses for today, Paul was talking to the Galatian church, which had members who were returning back to their Jewish practices as the substance of their faith, rather than continuing to trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation. He pointed out that they did not receive their new life in the Spirit by observing certain rituals and ceremonial days, by circumcision, or by keeping the old covenant laws. They received it through faith, the faith of Christ. He went on to explain how depending upon ourselves to do what is right is futile—it does not save us. Only Christ saves us, by coming to us in the Person and presence of the Holy Spirit.
The lesson for us today is that we need to consider what we are sowing in our lives and how we are sowing it. What do we trust in day by day to ensure that everything in our lives goes the way we want it to? What are we depending upon? Do we have a tight control on ourselves, our world, our lives, our relationships? Are we counting on our ability to keep it all together and solve our problems? Are we diligently trying to make sure we are being patient enough, kind enough, good enough?
I need to ask you now: How is that going for you? Personally, it never really worked well for me. I would be surprised if it worked well for you all the time. Because God never intended you to do it all yourself. If he had intended that, he would never have come himself in the person of Christ to live in human flesh to live and die for us and be resurrected for us. What God intended was for us to be crucified with Christ and to live a new resurrected life in him. We don’t live out of ourselves, we live out of Christ by the Holy Spirit.
This is what Paul means by reaping what we sow. If we sow to our human flesh and out of our own human flesh, we will reap death and corruption. But if we sow by the Spirit, seeking and depending upon the spiritual realities in Christ, we will reap eternal life, the kingdom life we can participate in now as we live in relationship with God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. We do have hope of a new life because God has, in Christ, made us new—he has sown the spiritual seed of the Holy Spirit in us as we embrace and receive it. Let us trust in Christ and in what God is doing in us and with us by his Holy Spirit. Let’s allow him to be for us, in us and with us, all that he desires. The harvest will be an eternal blessing of living in the life and love of God as Father, Son and Spirit.
Holy God, thank you for sowing in us your perfect seed of life eternal. Transform us by your Spirit. Resurrect us even today in Christ into the new life you have for us. Begin now to remake us into your image of love you want us to reflect. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8