“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) 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. (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9
The universe runs according to the laws of God, which cannot be violated without consequences. If you decide to jump off a roof, you will find out the consequence for trying to defy the law of gravity. Yet, by working within the laws of God’s universe, men can fly airplanes around the world and even ride rockets into outer space. Such is true concerning the law of the harvest. Violate it and face the consequences; work within it, and you can enjoy the harvest.
The law of the harvest has three parts:
- You will reap WHAT you sow. No man should expect to reap what he has not sown; no man should expect to reap anything but what he has sown. If a man sows wheat, he should expect a harvest of wheat, not a harvest of corn. And if a man sows thistles, he should not expect a harvest of barley. If you sow to the flesh, the works of the flesh will come up (Gal. 5:19). If you sow to the Spirit, you can expect a spiritual harvest. But don’t be deceived – exactly what you have sown in your life and in the lives of others is exactly what you will reap. The world calls this “karma.” God calls it sowing and reaping.
- You will reap MORE than you sow. For example, one corn seed may produce two or three heads of corn, with several hundred kernels. There is a multiplied return.
- You will reap LATER than you sow. No farmer sows the seed and expects it to come up the next day. No, James told us that “the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it” (Js 5:7). He knows the law of the harvest. Sometimes, people sow to the flesh or sow trouble and discord, but because they do not see an immediate harvest from their actions they believe that nothing will come of them. Such have deceived themselves (see Ecc. 8:11). The harvest will come – “in due season.” Hang around long enough and you will see the harvest of decisions – both good and bad.
Certainly, the law of the harvest has both a negative and a positive side. Yet verse nine focuses on the positive side for the faithful servant of God. It contains the promise of reaping – “in due season – IF we faint not.” There are in fact two IF’s involved:
I. “IN DUE SEASON – IF” THE WORK IS INVESTED TO PRODUCE A HARVEST.
When I was a teenager, my family moved to Weatherford, Texas, and built a home on my grandfather’s peach orchard. Grandpa would pay my cousin and I pretty good wages to work with him in the orchard. The work never ended. Harvest time would come in the summer – and we always had good harvests. People would come from many miles to buy Grandpa’s peaches. But when the harvest was not being picked, it was being prepared. Grandpa had hundreds of trees to prune. Then, my cousin and I would load up the branches on a trailer and drive them to the brush pile with his old Ford tractor. Grandpa also spend many hours plowing up the red dirt between the trees so that water could get down to the roots; then, we would hoe around the bases of the trees to get what the tractor could not. Grandpa also had to sometimes irrigate from our stock ponds; and there were certain times of year when he would spray for insects. All of this year-round work was necessary before we ever pulled a peach off a tree.
Grandpa knew the law of the harvest. He knew that if he did the work that was necessary, the trees would produce “in due season.” The farmer knows when he plows his fields, sows his seed, and takes care of his responsibilities, that “in due season,” according to the law of God, he will reap.
Spiritually, no harvest comes without work, and lots of it. Young preachers dream of the harvests of souls being saved and lives being changed – but they sometimes forget about the countless hours of work that precedes such harvest. Sometimes we think that the “work of the ministry” is just preaching in the pulpit – and we do not realize that there won’t be anyone in the pews to listen to the message, or any pews for them to not sit in, if someone does not put in the day-to-day work that brings the harvest. Pastors do not just build sermons. They lead people – and that takes a lot more work than alliterating three words and finding an appropriate poem.
Sometimes as young preachers we get discouraged because we lack the perspective that comes with time. After one or two years (which seems like such a long time when you are young, and not so long after a decade or two in ministry), we have not seen the results we wanted or perhaps the results that others seem to have. Keep working. We have to invest much “well doing;” we have to sow a lot of seed, and from THAT will come the harvest, “in due season.”
II. “IN DUE SEASON – IF” WE DO NOT GROW WEARY IN WELL DOING.
It is easy to get weary in spiritual service because, unlike the farmer, we do not know when “due season” will occur. The peach trees produced at the same time every year; the wheat, when planted on time, comes up on time. Spiritually, however, you may not know when your time of reaping will come. In fact, some of the seed we sow will not produce a harvest we can SEE until we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Have you ever been “weary in well doing?” If not, you either haven’t been doing enough or you haven’t been doing it long enough. Times of weariness come to all who work long enough in the Master’s fields. Paul admonished us to consider Christ during such times, lest we be “weary and faint in your minds” (Heb. 12:3). You may start to THINK that your labor is in vain; that you will never see the harvest; that the latter rains will never come; that you simply cannot go on. Well, go on anyway! Difficulties give way to determined men. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Keep on plowing, sowing, hoeing and watering, and wait for God to give the increase.
Sow the seed of the word of God. Give out gospel tracts. Witness to people. Invest in people. Cast your bread upon the waters. Train people. Help people. Win souls to Christ. Invest in church planters and missionaries. Do what you can and one day – in God’s timing – you will reap what you have sown, with a multiplied return.
Thank you for reading. I hope that it was an encouragement. Galatians 6:9 has been my life verse since 1995, and it never fails to encourage me during the “out of season” times of ministry. God bless.