This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Mystery of Jesus, A Tattooed King from the chapter explaining God’s Kingdom economy.
What goes around comes back around. The world refers to this principle as karma – what goes around comes back around to you so be careful what you do. In three gospels, Jesus explained the parable of the sower as a foundational kingdom truth. I think of it as what I plant comes back to me. Regardless of the name, this concept is absolute truth. Absolute truth cannot be altered and functions whether or not it is accepted. It is an axiom of life that we reap what we sow. We find the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4, Matthew 13 and Luke 8.
“The farmer sows the word (of God). Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Jesus continued, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them” (Mark 4:14-20, 24-29 NIV).
Most of the Bible was originally written to those living in an agrarian society, people familiar with raising crops and managing livestock. Many of Jesus’ parables involve farm life because people could relate to it. Sowing and reaping is a law of the natural world. On the third day of creation, God commanded the earth to bring forth living plants “bearing seed” and fruit “with seed in it” (Genesis 1:12). These plants were then given to man for food (verse 29). Ever since the beginning, man has understood the process of sowing and reaping and has applied it to his benefit.
A Spiritual Principle
God uses the law of sowing and reaping to bestow His blessing. God’s blessing comes generally to the whole world as He sends sun and rain to the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Sowing and reaping is also a law of the spiritual world, more than just an agricultural principle. It is an axiom of life that we reap what we sow. Galatians 6:7 says, “What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8 MSG).
There are natural consequences to our actions. The world operates under the law of cause and effect. There is no way around it: every time we choose an action, we also choose the consequences of that action. Proverbs 11:17-18 (MSG) says it this way – “When you’re kind to others, you help yourself; when you’re cruel to others, you hurt yourself. Bad work gets paid with a bad check; good work gets solid pay.”
The sowing principle implies a wait. Nothing good grows overnight. The farmer must be patient in order to see the fruit of his labors. When the Bible likens life to planting, watering and reaping (1 Corinthians 3:6), it suggests a length of time. God will bring forth fruit to His glory in His time. Until then, we faithfully labor in His field (Matthew 9:38), knowing that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9; Psalm 126:5).
We reap in kind to what we sow. Those who plant apple seeds should expect to harvest apples. Those who sow anger should expect to receive what anger naturally produces. “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 6:8). Living a life of carnality and sin, then expecting to inherit heaven is akin to planting cockle burrs (a course weeds with burrs) and waiting for roses.
A Clue to Understanding All Parables
In Mark chapter four, Jesus said this parable was a clue to unraveling all the other parables. This means that if you really want the kingdom of God in an area of your life, you better be sowing God’s Word on that subject there. Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces.” The indestructible seed of the Word of God is what causes the Kingdom to flourish in our lives.
So if we need physical healing, we should be feeding healing scriptures into our minds. If we need a financial breakthrough, meditate and speak aloud verses on finances, etc. This is a photo of the milkweed seeds I planted. It will take months for them to mature to a plant large enough to feed monarch caterpillars. Just like flower or vegetable seeds, we must plant the type of scriptural seed corresponding to whatever fruit we desire to harvest. Accompanying our faith words with action can improve our crop, too.
Karma Caught Sam
Some people only think of money when sowing and reaping are mentioned, but the principle applies to so many other areas of life. When I was Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Florida, a male supervisor (let’s call him Sam), would pass my office daily about noon on his way to the lunchroom. Carrying his bagged lunch, he would make the same sexually explicit comment day after day. He spoke to the air, yet it was always as he passed my open door. I was one of just two female officers in that location. At first, it embarrassed me, then became annoying and offensive as it persisted. Sexual harassment was not as fiercely reprimanded in 1988 as it is today. I reported my complaint to his supervisor but nothing ever came of it. I won’t include his exact words here because they’re rude, but I recall them all these years later. He continued his harassment week after week until the work environment became so hostile to me that my report production suffered. My complaint up the chain of command to the PBA (Police Benevolent Association) went unheeded. I eventually resigned the following year from the stress and anxiety of that hostile workplace. I felt defeated.
Here is where the law of reciprocity played out. The anxiety of enduring that atmosphere another day made me physically ill. I remember hating going to work, the knots in my stomach as I dressed and gagging while brushing my teeth. I prayed to God for vindication. I asked God to bring me justice, and either remove him or me from that environment. I did not ask God to punish him, just vindicate me. I did not take any action to vindicate myself other than filing a complaint. A short while later after I left, I heard that Sam was riding his bicycle near his home and had an accident while ogling a female pedestrian. He flew over the handlebars and broke his neck! He was not paralyzed but endured a painful, lengthy recovery. So, did Supervisor Sam reap some of the injury and pain that he had sown? You tell me.
The sowing and reaping principle is a double-edged sword. Whatever a man sows he will reap. There is a harvest of the enemy’s agenda for those who refuse God’s mercy and do not heed His voice. God is calling them to repent now before reckoning comes. God will not be mocked. There is still time to choose mercy over judgment. There are spiritual laws about harvest in effect. There are consequences for our choices but we can start planting new seeds to reverse the curse of sin in our lives. There is still time to push back the enemy’s work and we do that through repentance as a first step. © K. Leach 2019
Book Overview: Religion has made Kingdom teachings about living in the afterlife. One spiritual root of social unrest in America is the lack of intimate knowledge of God and the culture of His Kingdom.
This book explains a countercultural King operating a revolutionary society here on earth through us and presents practical ways Christians can impact social change.
The Mystery of Jesus, A Tattooed King will bring Abba closer by providing not only head knowledge but heart knowledge – firsthand, experiential knowledge while providing practical ways Christians can impact social change. You can know God personally as a close friend. Jesus said, “To you, it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”
This book unpacks fifteen Kingdom principles from the Bible when pieced together form a focused picture of God, rather than a hazy silhouette. Each chapter presents a different Kingdom principle revealing God’s character, preferences and dislikes, His attractiveness and perspective. He truly is one who reveals Himself unceasingly.
Christian author and inspirational speaker of truth that makes the darkness tremble. Author of two non-fiction books.