Genesis 36-38 / Matthew 10:21-42
“A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
The strongest and most beautiful flowers are usually those which have received regular time and attention from a gardener. Similarly, farmers could merely sow their seeds and hope nature brings about a good crop, but they will have more success if they water their seeds and work their fields themselves. Perhaps this is why Paul uses the metaphor of seeds and crops to describe how our thoughts and actions can fuel either our spiritual growth or our sinful desires.
Sowing seeds to please the Spirit will reap eternal life. This is why reading God’s Word, intimate time in prayer and regularly meeting in community with other believers are so important. As we feed on God’s Word and experience His presence, we water the seeds of truth in our lives and nurture an attitude of dependence on Him.
However, when we sow and water the seeds of the flesh, Paul warns we will reap destruction. There are times when this is obvious, such as anger ruining a friendship or when dishonesty at work results in immediate termination. But other times, especially when there are no immediate consequences, we might not notice our sin bearing bad fruit. It is then a little sin will gain momentum; not a 180 degree turn away from God, but a few degrees here and a couple more there. Without immediate consequences, we are usually more willing to engage in sin, thus feeding and growing the seeds of the flesh.
The result is a cycle that encourages sins and lengthens its reach in our lives. Engaging regularly in a certain sin normalizes it until it becomes a constant prodding, a temptation that has a strong hold over us because of how often we have given into it without consequences. If we are not careful, that temptation will creep into our everyday thoughts and actions, corrupting our minds, damaging our relationships, and building a barrier between God and ourselves.
When this happens, the only solution is to recognize we have fed these seeds of the flesh and admit we need God’s help to uproot what has become a plant of destruction. The uprooting may be painful at the time, but we will find joy in the freedom from sin that comes from God’s gardening. God longs to restore us to Him and to transform our fields of sin into fields of righteousness. It is only by approaching Him in humble repentance, and allowing Jesus to live His life in us that we will begin to see the seed of the Spirit grow and flourish in our lives.
PRAYER: Father in heaven, I do not want to feed the seeds of the flesh any longer. Uproot those sins I have planted, and sow deeply in me the seed of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.