“Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows”
– Galatians 6:7 NET
Many make their livelihood with products that begin with a seed. Food, drink, clothing and other enjoyments start with a seed. Dreams and ideas often begin with a “seed” thought . . . something so small can be so significant.
My good friend, Richard Scales recently commented, “The seeds of victory are born from defeat. They are planted by faith. They are watered by commitment. They are weeded and fertilized by persistence. They are harvested by perseverance.
I love the contemplation behind Richard’s thoughts. In our days of instantaneous and immediate gratification, we often forget the investment of a grueling growth process. With permission, I’d like to “tweek” these thoughts . . . just a bit.
Solomon reminds us of the regiment of resilience, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again”. (Prov 24:16 ESV) Failure is not bad until we refuse to find its blessing. In our learning failures, we fall and get back up. In our losing failures, we fall and never get back up. The seeds of success can be found in the fruit of failure.
Planted By Promise. Seeds are planted with the promise of a harvest. Interestingly, ever planted seed must deteriorate in the ground before new growth can begin. John records the words of Jesus, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24 NLT). We rarely see the germination part of the process. The new life, new birth and new growth all require faith. Faith becomes our promise. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Heb 11:1 NLT)
Watered With Purpose. Watering is a daily process. The germinated seed absorbs nutrients from its surrounding soil. Water moistens the soil and releases more life giving nutrition, also allowing them to flow through out the growing plant. Water also provides “turgidity” . . . the process which prevents wilting. Our purpose becomes our turgidity. Intimacy with God and instruction for His word intensify His purpose in our lives. Jesus said, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3 ESV)
Weeded With Persistence. Weeds grow. Weeds always grow faster that our planted crop. Unless we persistently prune and pull out life-robbing weeds, they will take over our crops. Jesus models this process in our own lives. John reminds us of Jesus’ words, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He (God) takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2 ESV). Many give up on their crop when weeds start to take over. Be persistent.
Harvested By Perseverance. Paul reminds the believers in Galatia, “So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:9 NET). David Bly said, “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” We are also encouraged to take part in this “God-process”. Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Cor 3:6 ESV)
Og Mandino wrote, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
The apostle Paul gives some impacting insight into the planting process, “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give . . . God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (2 Cor 9:6-7 MSG)
We can never out-plant God . . . we can never out-give God. Trust the process.