For everything there is a time and season-A time to wake up, a time to sleep, a time to work, a time to have fun, a time to eat, the list could go on and on. Likewise, there is a time to sow and a time to reap. Just as in the physical we have a time to sow and a time to reap, so it is with the spiritual.
I would like to make this more practical with an illustration. A farmer will sow seeds of the particular crop he or she wants to harvest. There is no point in sowing rice when you want to harvest millet. Yes, the two may be all cereals but they are not the same.
Likewise, in our spiritual lives there are various seeds we sow and when we follow the right principles we are bound to reap the harvest.
The pertinent question is why is it that well meaning Christians sow and sometimes do not reap?
I believe sowing and reaping is a principle and like every other principle it is governed by some keys:
Understanding the Times and Seasons.
In the physical there is a time for tilling the land and getting it ready for sowing. If you miss this period, you would have to wait or the next season. Likewise, in the spiritual we must be able to sense the time and atmosphere for sowing so we do not miss it. It doesn´t matter the prevailing circumstances in the natural, if you are convicted by the Holy Spirit to sow please go ahead and sow.
4 He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
The ground we choose to sow seeds on is very important. In the physical we have various types of land and various seeds will survive in a specific type of land. Example: There are some seeds which only thrive in waterlogged areas whilst others don´t. We need to make sure that we sow our seeds on a fertile land.
Before the farmer sows he ensures he prepares the ground so it is conducive. In the same way it is important the kind of ground we choose for our spiritual seeds. It is our responsibility to sow by the leading of the Holy Spirit and by the word of God. This is our surety that the land or ground we have chosen is fertile and will bear fruit.
Many a times we just sow seeds anywhere be it by the wayside, in gutters etc and then when we do not reap we turn to blame God. It takes spiritual understanding to know a fertile ground.
Type of seed
The type of seed we sow is also another important factor. In the physical we have some crops which may be annuals, biennials or perennials. Surely the harvesting times for these crops differ. I believe it is the same with spiritual. There are times when you sow a seed and in a short space of time you reap a harvest. Other times certain seeds have been sown and it looks like the harvest time is never going to happen. Once we have an understanding that there are different types of seeds we can continue to trust God to bring our harvest to pass.
The Principle of the seed Dying
As the bible says when a seed abideth by itself it stays alone but when it falls to the ground and die there is a harvest.
24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.
John 12:24 (AMP)
This principle also applies to the physical. When a farmer sows a seed the seed must die in order to germinate. The question is: Is it possible we sometimes sow seeds but these seeds do not die? Sometimes we claim we have sown some money into the kingdom of God or in another´s life but in reality we are still holding on to it. Yes, the money is not physically with us but we are still holding on emotionally. We want to know the “nitty gritty ” of what the money was used for.
When a farmer sows a seed the seed stays in a ground for a number of days before it may sprout up. Those days no one is privy to what is going on beneath. The farmer must patiently wait for the seed to germinate. We must allow to let go. Once you sow, let go.If your seed does not die, it cannot even germinate. No matter the amount of watering the seed is still abiding by itself.
Guarding your seed.
It is important to know a farmer does not go to sleep after sowing hoping to come back to reap a bountiful harvest. Rather the seed is guarded and nurtured to ensure that it is not destroyed. It is watered; weeds are kept out and pruned.
Our spiritual seeds must also be cared for and guarded. Faith, Prayers, Praises are key to ensure our seeds are kept alive and do not die. We must remove tares to ensure they are not suffocated and destroyed. We must not allow the cares of this world and our natural reasoning to suffocate the Faith we have.
Managing expectations- The right heart
In our time of waiting for our harvest to come to pass we must try to maintain a right heart and attitude. Waiting can be very daunting especially when you have no knowledge of whether your seed is annual, biennial or perennial. We need to continuously rely on God for strength during our waiting period.
Dear Friends, let us continue to hold on as we rely on the Holy Spirit to continue to grant us spiritual insight. May you reap beyond your expectation!
God bless you!
Unless otherwise stated all scriptures were quoted from NIV bible