Consequences of our Actions:
What the Bible Says about Sowing and Reaping
By Betty Miller
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8
Our choices each day determine our growth in the Lord. We can sow or plant things in our lives that will later bring us blessings; or just the opposite, we can sow seeds of selfishness and rebellion and we will reap things that are corrupt. We will either become more like Jesus by walking and obeying the Spirit of God, or we will become carnal Christians, displeasing to God, when we give in to carnal desires. Sowing to our flesh brings the death principle to our lives for Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” From this we can see why so many Christians are not enjoying their inheritance in God. They are refusing to “walk in the Spirit” and are reaping the things they are sowing in the flesh.
What does this mean and how do we “walk in the spirit?” This is working out our salvation and allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. Let us look at Galatians 5:16-25:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
From these scriptures we can clearly see if we are walking in the spirit or walking in the flesh, because Paul lists the manifestations of the flesh and compares them to the fruit of the Spirit. These scriptures tell us that there is no law against love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. These scriptures tell us that we have to battle against the dictates of our flesh and choose to walk in the spirit instead. If we ask God to empower us to do the right things and overcome evil things, He will help us to overcome the temptations of the flesh and walk in the Spirit.
Many do not desire the Lord to cleanse them, and subsequently refuse His work of sanctification and holiness. Therefore, they reap those things that are sown to the flesh. At one time in my life, I was very concerned about reaping all that I had sown when I was young and was in sin, since I seemed to be continually failing God. I felt I would be forever reaping and never make any spiritual progress. I did not mean to fail God, but my flesh was weak. The Lord was so gracious to minister to me with His love. He first led me to the Scripture in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He then gently explained to me that the kind of sin that reaped corruption was premeditated sin. (“…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7)). The Lord did this by asking me how one sowed a seed. I replied, “By digging a hole in the ground.” He then asked, “What do you do next?” I said, “You put the seed in and cover it up.” He said, “That is the way you commit a premeditated sin. You deliberately dig a hole, plant the seed and then cover it up so that others will not see it. The results of those sins will eventually be reaped.” He then said, “The other kind of sin, which is the weakness of our flesh, was like the seed that was thrown on top of the ground, and the sun beat down on it, and it never took root.” This is where we really do not mean to sin, but suddenly in a weak moment we fail the Lord, and immediately we are sorry and seek His forgiveness. This kind of sin will not be reaped, for the Lord’s grace covers it even as the sun beat down on the seed on top of the ground.
Each time we give these weak areas back to Jesus and determine that we want to be overcomers in that area, we find ourselves growing stronger. In time, we will become totally victorious. Should we become rebellious and commit willful sin, the moment we seek God for forgiveness we can enter back into the walk of the Spirit. However, we must deal with the results of those premeditated sins.
An example of this would be a young girl who deliberately sinned through fornication with the result of having an illegitimate baby. The Lord would forgive her the moment she sought Him for forgiveness; however, she would still have the child as a result of her sin. Nothing could change the fact that the child was illegitimate. However, God’s grace and mercy could cover this sin so that mother and child could grow in His love and goodness, if the mother chose God’s way for her life. God can always take our mistakes and turn them into good when we ask to be forgiven of any sin.
God will forgive and cleanse us and always show us the way to overcome as we continue to follow Him. When we sin or fail God, He always stands ready to receive us back into His fellowship and love. He does not just want us merely to “live in the Spirit,” but also to “walk in the Spirit”, that is, what it means to live the crucified life. Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness. He will reward His own in due time as we walk in obedience to His ways.
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”Galatians 5:24‑25
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
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Betty Miller has written several books on other topics as well. To view titles or purchase those books visit our bookstore.