Monday, November 26

What's In Your Garden?

I kept a garden for the first time this year. I harvested a lot of tomatoes, a few cucumbers, and some lettuce...but no carrots, no beets, and no green beans. There were some things I planted that didn't do well this year, but the reason I didn't harvest carrots, beets, and green beans is...because I didn't plant any!

You can't reap what you don't sow. But, conversely, you do reap what you do sow. Yet, while this makes sense in gardening, many miss its relevance in life - especially our spiritual lives! We long for deeper intimacy or changed lives and we wonder why we don't see them. Dallas Willard has said, "Actions are not impositions on who we are, but are expressions of who we are" (Renovation of the Heart). 

An oft quoted poem says:
Sow a thought, reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
Are you becoming the person you want to be? What are you sowing so you what you reap is what you want?

Read: Galatians 6:7-8
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 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.

What are you reaping in your life these days? Are you satisfied with where you are heading? What do your life's actions express about who you are and who you're becoming?

Take a step back...what are you sowing? How do you spend your discretionary time? Where do you spend your money? What takes up the most time in your day? 

Looking at the places you invest your energies will help you to see most clearly the kinds of things you value most and where you are sowing. If you have a desire to reap Christlikeness, are you sowing the kinds of things that will lead to that? Are you regular in church attendance at a strong church? Are you faithful in Bible reading and prayer? Are you connected to a small group and friends who spur you on in your faith? 

Are you being intentional? 

Paul said: sow to the Spirit, reap from the Spirit; sow to the flesh, reap from the flesh. Jesus said a good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. If the fruit you're seeing is not the fruit you want, what needs to change?

1. If you are dissatisfied with where you are thank God for creating that discontent in you! It's a gift! Ask him to fan it into the flame of action!

2. Make a change! Ask God what one or two things you can do today or this week which will help you to begin sowing the things that will bring the harvest you - and He - desire.

3. Obey! Do it! If you've sense the Holy Spirit nudging you, don't put your response off...obey right away! Sow to the Spirit, sow the good action, and create the space for the harvest to come.

4. Don't give up! Sometimes it takes longer than we expect to reap the fruit we desire. Don't give up! Sowing the good things will lead to good fruit in the Lord's time! Trust Him to do it. He surely will.

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