June 18th

Sowing to the Spirit

" 7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."   Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV

 

Paul used the analogy of sowing and reaping to illustrate how our choices in life have spiritual consequences.   If we spend our time on earth pursuing fleshly lusts we will reap corruption.  This corruption comes in many forms, but primarily it manifests in our thought patterns.  Our thoughts can become more focused on the pursuit of fulfilling our cravings than living for God.  Such “carnal mindedness” will handicap our ability to bear fruit for God’s kingdom and stunt our spiritual growth. 

 

If we invest our time “sowing to the Spirit” of God, we will reap both the “newness of life” in Christ here on earth and everlasting life in heaven.   What exactly does sowing the Spirit mean?  Romans 8 gives us some insight into this:

 

5For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.  13For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:5,13-14 AMP

 

From that passage we can infer that sowing the Spirit involves:

·        Setting our minds on the things that gratify the Holy Spirit:  Paul gave some examples of things we can set our minds on in Philippians 4:8 NIV:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”  The things we allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear can greatly influence our ability to keep our thoughts on pure things.  Our entertainment choices, for example, will have to be brought into obedience to the Holy Spirit.

·        Allowing the desires of the Holy Spirit to control our minds (being led by the Spirit):  God has given us a free will and we have the power to choose what we respond to.  Temptations are invitations to respond to sinful impulses.  The convictions of the Holy Spirit are invitations to follow the Spirit’s desires.  Yielding to the Spirit will help us put our sinful desires to death.

·        Putting to death the sinful deeds of the body:  We put sinful deeds to death both by refusing to respond to them and by controlling our thoughts.  Sin usually starts in our thoughts and we must be committed to taking every thought captive and make it obey Jesus Christ.  Then we must also cast evil thoughts out of our minds. (see Control Thoughts)

 

When we sow the Spirit in the above ways, our minds will become more and more like the mind of Jesus.  The Spirit will help us learn how to take the above actions, provided we are willing to cooperate with him and yield to his desires.  He functions as a counselor and a teacher and will guide us in truth. 

 

Questions for further thought:

 

Prayer:

“Lord God, thank you for giving me new life through your Spirit.  Please forgive me for the times when I have not yielded to the Spirit and for any pride that I have harbored in my heart.  I submit myself to you and commit to being responsive and obedient to the Holy Spirit.  Please teach me how to set my mind on your desires and how to put sinful deeds to death.  I declare by faith that I have the mind of Christ and I am led by God from today forward!  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”