Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sowing and reaping

I've been thinking and meditating a lot on Galatians 6:7 recently - "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows." This is a scripture I've had in my mind a lot over the years, and I have desired to understand it more. Recently I feel as if I have come to some real revelation about the truth behind this scripture.

In my younger years I used to struggle with wrong belief systems that told me that people's actions had no consequences whatsoever. This made me very angry and created a strong desire for revenge as I felt that "if I don't do something about this then no-one will because there's no such thing as consequences for people's actions against me, unless I go out of the way to make consequences for them." This thinking was caused in part by a powerlessness I struggled with which communicated to me that I was not strong enough to be able to change anything that I was facing, therefore it couldn't be changed. There was no belief in God's overriding power and control above and beyond all things.

This belief system caused a lack of faith in the judgment, justice and character of God and created a lot of anger towards things which were seemingly out of anyone's control so could never be put right. Often if I tried to stand up for myself I would face consequences for doing that which communicated to me that "other people's actions towards me have no consequences because they are allowed to get away with anything, yet my actions towards others have consequences. This isn't fair!" This wrong belief system created a lot of anger and a belief that justice would not - and could not - be done.

However I have begun to realize that whatever we have in our hearts - be it good or bad - will bring forth fruit which will be shown in our lives. We sow seed out of what we carry within our own hearts. We sow seed in terms of the words we speak, the decisions we make, the actions we perform. And the sowing of that seed will bring in a harvest. Whether or not it's good or bad is dependent on what we sow because at the end of the day, God's Word is faithful and true and cannot return to Him void.

I have sown a lot of negative seed over the years - mainly in terms of negativity towards myself and my own abilities to change things or impact my own environment. There have been times in the past when I have sat back and allowed myself to be viciously bullied in work places and allowed so-called "friends" to lie to my face so that they could get something they wanted for themselves. I allowed these things to happen because I believed that I was powerless to change them. Some of these events still fill me with regret - mainly because I wish that I had stepped up and taken charge of things and fought for myself rather than sitting back passively because I believed I was too weak to do anything. I disrespected myself and I didn't deserve the disrespect I gave to myself. Granted, I am a different person now and far more capable of standing up for myself and what I believe is right - but these events have still hurt me and I wish I had the power to go back and change them.

The negative seed I had sown came from the spiritual inheritance I was born into, which I was operating out of without realizing. Granted - it wasn't my fault I had this inheritance, so it wasn't my fault that this seed was given to me, and because I was unaware of it at the time and therefore unable to deal with it accordingly I sowed that seed into my life through my own words and actions. The seeds of passiveness and fear I was sowing had me reaping a harvest of bullying and control from other people. The harvest greatly damaged my self esteem, confidence and emotional well being.

As hard as this has been - this has helped me to realize the true concept of biblical sowing and reaping. Though I had no control over what I was sowing I still reaped a harvest according to the seed that I had sown. This actually helped me gain a huge amount of faith in the justice and righteousness of God. You hear so many stories of people doing terrible things and then the excuses which come forth such as "they didn't know what they were doing" "It was beyond their control" and so on. Though these things may well be true - there is still a harvest that comes from that seed sown. There are a lot of people (like myself) who struggle with spiritual forces and curses operating in their lives as well as circumstances which have hurt them in the past and this has caused them to act in a negative manner towards others. For some people they take this even further and perform socially unacceptable actions - such as assaulting people violently. It's all very well for them to say that "they didn't know what they were doing" etc or that "they have come from a hard background" but at the end of the day the seeds they have sown will bring forth a harvest.

A prolific serial killer in the USA was given a life sentence for his actions. He became a Christian in prison and has sincerely sought to change his life. However, despite his salvation he must still reap a harvest from the seed sown. He will never be able to set foot outside of prison again for his actions and he will probably live with endless hate and anger towards him from the people whom he has hurt and frightened with his actions, not to mention people constantly questioning his salvation and thinking that he's just putting it all on to make people feel sorry for him. I for one believe he is sincere - but despite his sincerity he will never stop reaping the harvest for his actions. He has sown seed through his actions and regardless of what drove him to sow that seed - or how that seed arrived in his heart in the first place - he must reap a harvest for his actions and will reap that harvest until the day that he dies.

However, God can use the seed sown in our lives to guide us to better places. The spiritual inheritance given to me meant that I sowed constant seeds of hostility and a sense of "stay away from me" towards people. This reaped a harvest of many people not liking me and being unwilling to become close to me as they could sense I wanted them to stay away. Though in a way this was a bad harvest to reap - it was also for my own benefit and protection as it protected me from wrong relationships with people - especially females. Being engaged now to the right person for me I can honestly say that my hostility and "stay away from me" aura helped me dodge a few bullets in that department over the years - something that I am now deeply grateful for.

There are times when people do seem to get away with whatever they have done - but the important word here is the word "seem". It might appear that way but they don't really get away with anything. I have realized recently the powerful truth that sin simply cannot be forgiven - ever. People can be forgiven for their actions by God - but sin itself can never be forgiven. It will always be punished. It just depends on who. The person responsible for the sin will be punished for it - or their punishment can be transferred onto Jesus, with sincere repentance - a willingness to "turn away" from one's sins, not just saying a half-hearted "sorry" and expecting that to suffice. Every action by every person is known to God and if they do not find Jesus and sincerely repent of their sins they will face the eternal harvest of sowing seeds of a life without God. Even if people do repent and come to Jesus in wholehearted repentance and humility they still must face their actions and sometimes that means God calling them to do some hard things - such as go to people they have hurt and apologize. There is simply no easy ride.

How do we sow good seed and stop sowing bad seed? Give our hearts to God and allow Him to transform us from within. Come to the Throne with sincere repentance and ask for Him to change our hearts. I firmly believe that whatever we have in our hearts will be revealed through what (and who) we have in our lives. Throughout the long years I spent in the spiritual wilderness I have come to learn that the trials and tribulations that constantly came upon me happened because there was significant rotten seed in my heart that needed to be weeded out. The trials I faced were in accordance to the darkness I had within myself and once a trial I was facing had got rid of all the darkness it was triggering - the trial would end. I began to realize it was better to have the rotten seed uprooted through hard times than to have a nice, relaxed life without any hardships as this would give the rotten seed time and space to grow, which would in time, bring forth a bitter harvest. I have learned to welcome the process of uprooting the bad seed in my life as it gave me the chance to plant good seed which would mean a better harvest later on.

In conclusion - God is on the throne. It doesn't matter how much He may appear not to be at times - but He is truly on the throne. He cannot and will not be mocked. No human can outrun Him, no one can escape Him and His just judgment. What is sown will be reaped. There is grace, mercy, and forgiveness - but still consequences for one's actions. We all must carry our cross and reap the results of the seed that we sow - be that good or bad, or whether we realized we were sowing it or not.

Take care.

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