It’s hard spending our days pursuing the kingdom and trying not to waste our lives. There are many dangers and obstacles in our path.
But the greatest threats aren’t the traumatic events or the opposition from others or the great crossroads we face.
The greatest danger is simply cooling off.
Not seeing results. Feeling insignificant. Thinking that we’re not really making a difference one way or the other.
But Paul gives us encouragement in the sixth chapter of Galatians.
Don’t Grow Weary
It’s the concept of sowing and reaping.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he 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. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
What you sow, you’ll reap – and for that reason don’t grow weary of doing good. But why do we grow weary?
We grow weary not when the going gets tough, but when the harvest seems uncertain.
“Does this matter at all?”
“Does anybody really care that I’m doing this?”
“This isn’t really going like I had hoped. Is this worth the effort?”
But great news! You are absolutely promised that you will reap a harvest… if you don’t give up. So keep going at it.
Your harvest will occur “in due season.” That may be nothing until heaven. And even if you do get a taste of the harvest here on earth, it’s probably far enough away to stretch your faith.
But the harvest will come.
You Will Always Sow Somewhere
Here’s another important insight that Paul makes: you are going to inevitably sow somewhere.
This isn’t the choice between sowing good seed or sitting back and being idle. Your choice is to either sow to the Spirit or sow to your flesh.
Once we start to cool off, the cares and concerns of this world creep up to take over. The space in our lives that once was devoted to sowing to the Spirit begins to get taken up – even if we don’t realize it – by the flesh.
When a desire for comfort replaces sowing to the Spirit, we are sowing to our flesh. When the love of money replaces sowing to the Spirit, we are sowing to our flesh. When our pride or the fear of failure replaces sowing to the Spirit, we are sowing to our flesh.
And then we will reap corruption.
Don’t Be Deceived
It’s fascinating to me that Paul prefaces all of this with “Don’t be deceived.”
Don’t believe the lies that what you do doesn’t matter – remember that you are sowing seeds which will bring a harvest.
But also don’t be deceived: God is not mocked.
Don’t think that you can chase after the cares of this world and not suffer as a result. You will reap what you sow.
But also – don’t think that you will reap a harvest if you’re not hustling and striving for it. Don’t think that the harvest will come if you’re not sowing day by day.
As Rick Renner points out, the Greek word used for sowing depicts a continual process. He continues with some piercing and convicting words:
“The reason most people walked away disgusted and scoffing at this promise is that they never really put it to the test! They sowed once and waited for a harvest. When nothing happened, they threw up their arms and said it didn’t work.”
When your passion cools off, remind yourself that you will reap what you sow.
The harvest is inevitable – but the harvest isn’t quick, and the harvest isn’t easy.
Photo Credit: jayneandd (Creative Commons)
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