Sowing to the Spirit


Galatians 6:7-8 

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” 

Sowing to the Spirit 

            Genesis 3:6 is a great example of how seeds can be planted into our minds which lead to disobedient deeds that reap severe consequences. After the serpent tempted Eve with deception in the garden, Genesis 3:6 reads, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” She had to decide if the fruit of the tree was acceptable to eat in order to make her wise. She carefully studied the object while receiving advice from the serpent and convinced herself that the tree was good for food and wisdom, contrary to what God said. The tree was obviously not good for food and wisdom as we are now reaping the benefits of Adam and Eve’s destructive decision.

            Flesh to Paul is much more than just skin and bones. Flesh is the ugly complex of human sinful desires that includes the ungodly motives, affections, principles, purposes, words, and actions that sin generates through our bodies. Flesh as used in the context of Galatians 6:8 denotes the entire fallen human being—not just the sinful body but the entire being, including the soul and mind, as affected by sin. To live according to the flesh is to be ruled and controlled by that evil complex. –  

            The seed sowed to the flesh looks something like this as John Piper explains. “The old ego is self-reliant, and does not delight to yield to any authority or depend on any mercy. Flesh craves the sensation of self-generated power and loves the praise of men. In its conservative form, the flesh produces legalism, keeping rules by its own power for its own glory. In the more liberal form, it produces grossly immoral attitudes and acts. The flesh is the proud and un-submissive root of depravity in every human heart which exalts itself subtly through proud, self-reliant morality, or flaunts itself blatantly through self-assertive, authority-despising immorality.” Sowing to the flesh is making constant investments into those fleshly sinful pleasures which will reap negative consequences.

            Those who say they are a Christian but are living like the devil are most likely not Christians. The Bible is really clear that those people who live according to the flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Galatians 5:19-21 read, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” People who sow seeds to the flesh seek counsel from others who sow seeds to the flesh and they all reap the benefits of eternal destruction.

            Paul’s admonition in Galatians 6:8 is to not sow seeds (deeds) to the flesh but to live according to the Spirit. If sowing to the flesh is living to please our sinful desires then what does it mean to sow to the Spirit?

            Notice Paul capitalizes Spirit in Galatians 6:8. He is speaking about the power to live God’s way by the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word. Sowing is not something “mystical” — We “sow” with our thoughts, our words and our deeds. It follows that essentially all of our life (sleep might be an exception) is characterized by continual sowing, every moment of every day we are either sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit. –

            What does it look like to sow deeds according to the Spirit? The answer comes from Spirit empowered trusting in your belief in God through Jesus Christ. It goes much deeper than just believing in the facts about the message of Jesus. We sow seeds to the Spirit when we live in moment by moment Spirit empowered faith that God is for us in Jesus Christ, through the truth found in the Word of God, in every situation we encounter in this lifetime and the next one to come. The Word of God is the Spirits voice. We sow seeds to the Spirit when we believe, consume, study, and meditate on the Word of God and believe It. In doing so we are reaping eternal life. Eternal life begins now. We believe in the moment by moment future grace of our Father, through the Son, by the Spirit!

            What are the marks of a person who has the Spirit of Christ in them? Psalm 16 is a great example. Read this on your own and notice how David does not start off red hot for God. He comes to God in prayer by making a request for God to preserve him. David then through sowing seeds to the Spirit is speaking to God about all that God is for him. David’s soul starts off as cold but is exalted by the end of the psalm because he trusts God for His provision of eternal life. David as a prophet understood that God is his salvation but he didn’t quite understand that in this prayer he was predicting Christ. He knew of something but couldn’t quite grasp it. David’s soul was still satisfied by God. So can ours and much more. Our prayers start off cold and dead like David. Like David we can sow seeds to the Spirit which eventually will reap the benefits of an exalted soul in God. Unlike David, we have the fulfillment of Christ for our souls to seek and savor. A soul satisfied in Jesus in every situation of life is reaping the benefits of sowing seeds to the Spirit. Praying back to God His benefits is essential in sowing seeds to the Spirit.

            This is our battle folks! We live by either the Spirit or the flesh. As believers we have the choice of living in the Spirits power. Believing that God is for us in Jesus Christ is a moment by moment Spirit empowered trust in His Word. We began the battle by becoming alive by the Spirit. We will continue to battle and persevere by the empowering of the Spirit. It is guaranteed as Paul says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6. This truth is just as much a part of the Gospel as every action that Jesus Christ performed for you. It is good news! There is nothing that can separate us from this Spirit empowered love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. All praise goes to Him!