The Power of Seed
Are you into gardening? I'm certainly not. But I remember some large gardens my parents and grandparents planted when I was in middle school. At that age, I found it fun to join in and lend a helping hand. I was probably more in the way than helpful but I'm glad they let me participate. During the process, I learned that gardening is a lot of hard work but if all goes well, the reward of the labor makes it worthwhile. Of course, it's still easier to buy the veggies at the produce market, right?
From my vast gardening experience, I also learned the basic rule of planting and reaping: You reap what you sow. It's a deep revelation. What you put into the ground is what you are going to get out of the ground. If you want watermelon, don't plant beet seed. It's really quite simple. And it is as true about life as it is about gardening. Grant Bright said it this way, "You reap what you sow: Life is like a boomerang. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy."
Yet sometimes in the garden of life, you get some things you didn't plant. Not everything you are dealing with is a direct result of a decision you made or an action on your part. I remember when this truth first became real to me. It happened in a back office of the church in Asheville, North Carolina, when Bro. Hall looked directly at me and said, "Son, we not only reap what we sow, but we also reap what others around us sow."
The thought was new to me. I certainly knew the principle of reaping and sowing. I could easily quote Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap." I understood that every human would reap from what they sow. It is a law of God that remains in effect as long as the earth exists. [See Gen. 8:22.]
Who Planted This?
But the idea that we also reap from the seed of others—wow! This statement explained some things. Many times, I wondered about the "why" of things happening in my life and the lives of others. My personal issues should first move me to search my heart as best I can and to humble myself before the Lord. We must ask Him to examine us, reveal any wrongs, and forgive and free us. If the problem is with us, we believe for the Lord to show us how to deal with it and get back to sowing the right stuff.
Most often, the problem is indeed simply of our own making. But at times, the harvest we reap is a result of someone else's seed. Like Joshua and Caleb, we can reap the wrong choices and willful rebellion of those around us. Do you remember what happened to these champions of faith? The account is found in the 13th and 14th chapters of Numbers, when 10 of their comrades brought what the Bible calls "an evil report" to Israel (Num. 13:32, KJV).
Joshua and Caleb's Harvest
The 10 refused to believe that Israel could possess the land God promised them. They refused to believe that God could do in them and through them all He said. As a result of their rebellious unbelief, they were denied entry into the promised place and consigned to death in the wilderness. It took 40 years for the sentence to finish, and during that 40 years, Joshua and Caleb wandered in the desert with them and attended their funerals.
They reaped a 40-year harvest from seed others around them sowed. It wasn't their seed at all. Both Joshua and Caleb are on record as fully believing God's promise and boldly proclaiming, "We can do this!" Nevertheless, they couldn't enter the promised land until their generation passed. They suffered a huge delay through no fault of their own. Perhaps you are in a similar position. Your promises were within your grasp, but circumstances didn't fully line up, and you find yourself still reaching. Don't be dismayed. You can outlast the delay!
Understand that delay was not and is not denial. Because Joshua and Caleb didn't join in sowing the seed of unbelief but sowed the seed of faith, they eventually reaped the great harvest of breakthrough, abundance and promises realized. While there is no escape from receiving of the bad seed sown by others, ultimately, it is the seed we sow that we will reap. Don't be deceived, in the end; our choices bring us to destiny.
Humility and Courage
Of course, it isn't just on the negative side. We also reap good things that we didn't plant. Others before us and around us did the right things, walked with God by faith, and we get to harvest their seed. Jesus said, "I sent you to reap a crop for which you did not labor. And you have benefited from their labor" (John 4:38, MEV). There are blessings we enjoyed and are enjoying which had little or nothing to do with us. Hallelujah!
Remember that your life is ultimately the reaping of choices made and seed sown in your life. But it also includes the seed of others. Therefore, when you are enjoying the victories of success, walk with humility. It is possible that you are reaping much good from the seed of others who labored in the sowing. And when you are walking through tough times of suffering, be encouraged. You may only be temporarily reaping from the bad choices of others. Take heart. This delay is not denial. Keep walking. Stay the course. Continue to sow the good seed of faith choices. The day of abundant harvest is just ahead, and you will reap the good harvest!
Keith Nix is the founding pastor of a thriving congregation, The Lift Church, in Sevierville, Tennessee. He has traveled internationally since 1993, carrying a unique message of awakening and establishing to this generation. He and his wife, Margie, are blessed with one daughter, Isabella. To learn more and get a free audio download you can visit KeithNix.org. You can connect with Keith on Facebook: facebook.com/KeithNixTV or Twitter here: twitter.com/KeithNixTV
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