Determine To Flourish Spiritually Now And Forever

Spiritual Sowing And Reaping From Galatians 6:8

Determine To Flourish Spiritually Now And Forever
Image Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2018 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).
The decisions we make and the actions we take affect each of us spiritually. A single verse in Galatians presents us with a choice with earthly and eternal consequences.

Whether they realize it or not each real Christian is in a battle. As they grow in Christ most experience struggles, for a time, between what they know they should do (and be) and what their old nature wants to do (and be). In the message, End The War {1}, we saw much of that battle occurs in the mind. It is bad enough when we permit ourselves to have the wrong mindset, and things are made worse when we do not do what God wants us to do.

Such things are made worse when we put the thoughts of our fleshly mind into action, whether that action be on purpose, by accident, or just out of habit. By the Holy Spirit, Paul writes in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. In verse 8 we see a principle that helps a disciple to stop sinning, and flourish spiritually instead.

It is helpful to view the principle of spiritual sowing and reaping in the following four ways.

I. Be Aware Of The Distinction

While sowing and reaping is a common thought in both sections of verse 8, the first section has “sows to his own flesh” but the second section has “sows to the Spirit”. It does not say “sows to his spirit” but has “the Spirit”.  This is similar to Romans 8:1-10 (covered in part in End The War) especially verse 5 which reads, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” We need to be aware of this distinction not only in the written text but in our own life.

II. Act Upon The Distinction

Such wording in the Holy Bible text reminds us that a true Christian must consider himself dead, but made alive by Christ, and alive to Christ (“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” -- Romans 6:11). It is written in Romans 8:10, “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Above that, verse 2 states, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

The true disciple of Christ must act upon this. We do not have to sin. We have been set free from sinning. If we are truly saved then we should truly love God, loving Him enough to tell ourselves “no” when it comes to disobeying God, and “yes” to every bit of His will for our life. And, it is not just considering, it is not just saying, it is doing His will and not doing our will. It is a life of loving obedience to Him.

III. Do Not Sow To Your Flesh

We avoid sowing to the flesh by doing what God wants us to do and not what we want to do, even if the activity by itself would not be considered sinful. It is not that we have to wait around to hear from God whether we should have oatmeal instead of corn flakes for breakfast. However, as we are going about life here on earth we need to be in constant communication from Him and ready to do whatever He wants us to do.

Not sowing to the flesh includes not living our life from the aspect of self, but with the focus of pleasing our creator. This means we will not let ourselves be swayed by others. If we continue to live our life focused upon self we will cease walking with Christ. Eventually we will lose some of what we have now and later lose all of what we have now for eternity {2}.

Of course, ceasing from specific sins is certainly included. Essentially, though, if we can grasp the need to listen and obey only the Spirit of God then we will not be sinning. So often in order to conquer a sin a disciple will focus on that sin to figure out how to avoid it. While this is good, the core matter is to learn to live by the Holy Spirit and not by our own will.

Those that sow to the flesh increase their enmity against God. They grow more spiritually hardened. They walk away from the love and grace of God. It is always best we ignore self and live by the Holy Spirit according to the written Word of God.

IV. Sow Only To His Spirit

A foundation of sowing to the Holy Spirit within is to make what God desires to be our desires. We are to ask for His help, and apply it to our lives, if we have trouble making any of His desires ours and if any of our desires must be removed.

Sowing is done in thought and deed. Taking our thinking first, we should cast out all thoughts that are self-serving, and all thoughts that do not honor God. The best thing to put into our minds is the written Word of God. A real Christian will have a love for the Word of God. He will read it, study it, memorize portions of it, and repeat passages to himself (a form of Holy Bible meditation).

We also sow by doing. We should be doing His known will, like constantly speaking with Him (prayer), worshiping Him, interceding, and more. We constantly ought to be yielding to His Holy Spirit and therefore denying self. If we sin we ought to immediately confess to Him and trust Him for forgiveness and cleansing. We are to do whatever God wants us to do.

Romans 12:1-2 brings out the sowing to His Spirit in thought and deed as follows: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Additionally we read in Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Further in chapter 5 verses 24 and 25 state, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

If we sow to the Spirit now we will be blessed as we grow godly characteristics, some of which are listed in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” While the spiritual DNA for these things is within us the moment we receive Christ as Lord and Savior, they develop over many years. They continue to develop in us until we graduate from this world into glory.

You have to admit, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are really good. The only way to have them is to be truly in Christ, and having Christ within you. This means a full surrender to God on our part, forsaking our sins, our life, our self, and making Him King. In so doing we begin sowing to the Spirit. We are then blessed with real, vibrant, purposeful life now. Not only will we be blessed, but others will be blessed too. Sure, some will reject us and our new life, and even hate us. But as Christ was committed to us, we should be committed to Him. Remaining in Him we will spiritually flourish now, and forever!

Notes:

{1} Please read End The War at https://newsandsociety.expertscolumn.com/end-the-war .

{2} Please also read Lose It Or Lose It at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/lose-it-or-lose-it .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by March 25, 2018 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M489 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.


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The more we are rooted in Christ, the more battles we face, for the devil is always going to try to bring us to his side. Life in Christ and with Christ is the best and the one we should desire. We were created to know, love, serve God and to be happy with him in this world and in the next. To be alive in Christ means to be dead to worldly pleasures.

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