Go ahead. Step out into the fields of your life…your field of relationships, your emotional garden, your orchard of character… what are you reaping?
“What do you mean?”
I mean, what do you see…today…in your life?
Fields of healthy friends growing unhindered? or fields neglected and tangled with weeds and thorns. Neglected relationships and lives tangled with confusion, division and negativity.
Do you see a delicate beautiful garden, emotions patient and disciplined, tended and cared for? or do you see dry emotionless soil, unable to yield a colorful blossom?
Do you walk through the ripe, low hanging fruit of your character? Sweet and nourishing to those passing by? or is your character withered, lacking nutrients and bitter to those who encouter you?
I mean what is shown there is what was sown there.
This is not news to you. You know this truth. It’s just time to look around and see what cultivating tools and habits you have forgotten in this season.
Don’t be ashamed, we all have better places to sow and reap in our lives. But don’t deceive yourself.
“Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked (translation: you can’t turn up your nose at God’s Word or sneer at the things of God, or hold His commands in disdain…and get away with it.) Galatians 6:7 finishes by saying, “for whatever a man sows he will also reap.”
“for whatever a man sows he will also reap.”
These are both encouraging and condemning words.
Person who has tried, and strived, and made conscious honest effort to pursue, seek and draw near to God…don’t worry…don’t fret. You will reap in your relationship with Him what you have sown. And believe me, the fruit of your efforts will be evident to all.
Person who has drifted, is distracted, and has divided your interests between God and the pleasures of this world…you also will reap from the places you have sown.
Don’t deceive yourself again. You can’t ‘get away’ with both in your life; a prayer closet and secret closet of sin. Matthew 6:24 says, “You cannot serve two masters; you hate the one and love the other, or you will despise the one and be devoted to the other.”
You may want both but it is impossible to have both. How long will you live your life trying to prove this untrue?
Andy Stanley says,
“We begin selling ourselves on what we want to do rather than what we ought to do. We listen to ourselves until we believe our own lies, and then we opt for happiness.” -The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
We cannot listen to ourselves, because our natural sinful self will choose just that, self.
“We don’t drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there.”
― Andy Stanley,
Holy Spirit, use your way and God’s words to convict. Come upon the hearts of these readers and allow truth to break chains of thinking and set free in Christ the hearts and minds of His followers. “He is the Spirit of truth,” John 14:17, “you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.”
What should you do? Discipline and prioritize yourself in a good direction. Follow these 3 steps:
1.) Know your fields: honestly diagnose and evaluate what your life is
The Word of God does this for you.
“For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” Heb 4:12
2.) Plan to cultivate – and cultivate a plan: be intentional, sow right things
Ephesians 4:23-5:21 has a few to get you started:
- be renewed in the Spirit of your mind; put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity and truth.
- put away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor
- no foul language is to come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so to give grace to those who hear
- be kind and compassionate to one another
- forgive one another, remembering God forgave you in Christ
- be imitators of God
- walk in love
- walk as children of light, fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness and truth
- discern what is pleasing to the Lord
- pay careful attention to how you walk, as wise people
- make the most of the time
- understand what the will of the Lord is
- be filled with the Spirit
- speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
- sing and make music from your heart to the Lord
- give thanks always for everything
- submit to one another in the fear of Christ
3.) Reap a bountiful life: “for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Gal. 6:9
“The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21
Andy sums up our diagnosis and direction warning against deceiving ourselves:
“Geographically speaking, you can’t get to where you want to be unless you know where you are the begin with. You need a reference point. Similarly, you can’t get to where you want to be in life until you are willing to admit where you are to begin with. Self-deception makes that next to impossible.”
― Andy Stanley,
Admit where you are. God already knows. Start clean and fresh today. Decide you don’t want to continue reaping the sorrow-filled things in your life. Change out your bag of seed, choose to sow right and good things that will grow fruits from the Spirit so your character is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Gal 5:22
“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded.” James 4:7-8
Sing with me Hillsong United’s “Hosanna” ~
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You
Have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
Hosanna in the highest