In this month's issue of Faith News Niagara we will be looking at the concept of sowing and reaping. More specifically, we will be examining how to reap.
In the world of agriculture, sowing and reaping is simple to understand. A farmer plants a seed and then takes care of the soil for a period of time while expecting a harvest in due time. The key concept to remember is that when a farmer sows he fully expects a
God designed the world so that the earth would produce a harvest after a seed has been planted. The world contains within it the ability to reproduce through the seed. This principle is called sowing and reaping. Genesis 1:11-12 talks about how God created seed bearing plants to produce fruit with seed of its own kind for perpetual growth.
The bible talks about sowing and reaping in many contexts. For example sowing and reaping can have implication on behaviours and actions (Job 4:8, Proverbs 22:8) and provision (Isaiah 37:30, 2 Corinthians 9:6).
Reaping is a learned skill. Farmers had to learn how to take care of the soil where they had sown until it was ready to reap. Once the fruit is produced, the farmer had to learn when it was ready for harvest.
Likewise, when Christians sow finances they must learn where and when to sow and where and when to reap a harvest. Unfortunately most Christians have not learned how to reap because the emphasis has always been on the sowing part. Most Christians know how to sow. Christians have such a good heart that they give finances in a variety of ways. In fact some Christians sow freely and broadly to such a degree that they miss the vast number of ways to harvest.
Christians have developed the skill to listen to the Holy Spirit and to sow where they are led. The sowing part of the Christian life is developed because of the teaching and encouragement of the Church. However, little time is spent teaching on the concept of reaping.
So how is one to reap? In the natural reaping a harvest takes place after due season; however, in the context of provision, in the kingdom realm reaping is not confined to time. For example, in kingdom finances reaping can literally take place in a matter of minutes or hours.
So, why are some Christians missing the harvest? When you sow finances it should be with the intention of reaping. There should be an intentional expectation of harvest. This is not a selfish reason to sow. For most Christians it seems selfish to sow and expect a return. To avoid selfishness some people would prefer to do the sowing while letting God take care of the rest. By sowing this way they leave it to God to send the bounty so that they can give the credit to God. This nullifies that act of reaping. Taking yourself out of the equation removes you from the act of reaping as well. You are required to take an active role in reaping.
Another reason some don’t reap is because reaping can come in a form that may not be recognized. It is the sower’s responsibility to reap the harvest and therefore must keep their eyes open to where that harvest might come from. Where can that harvest come from? Harvest can be found in what we call opportunities or fortunate situations. A more accurate biblical term is called the blessing or favour of God.
What does this mean on a more practical level? What are these opportunities? They can come in the form of a new job opportunity, a business connection, an idea to create an income, or simply someone is impressed to give to you.
So, how do we harvest? Once you have sown, you must learn to expect the harvest. Look for where that harvest might come from. If you suddenly get an idea that might produce an income then it is your responsibility to act on it. Don’t worry about the details of the idea, just act on it. I heard it explained this way, “provision is supplied to support the vision.” Sometimes this requires you to step out of your comfort zone. You may need to write a book, create a craft, cook a meal, start a business, provide a service, or trade your time for wages.
For others the harvest might come because you were connected to the right people for an opportunity, or you found yourself in the right situation where you would financially benefit. At this point you must learn to appreciate these situations and acknowledge that this is God’s favour and that this might be the harvest you were expecting. The form of harvest may not have been what you expected but it is a harvest non-the-less.
Harvest time in the kingdom, as I mentioned earlier, can be reaped in minutes or hours. This can happen when someone feels impressed to give to you. This is not the time to feel guilty about taking the gift, nor is it the right time to refuse the gift because you are trying to be polite. Receive it with gratitude and give God the praise.
My family once received a financial gift from someone and we gave thanks to them and God. Within 15 minutes they received triple what they gave us. I was happy to be the soil they sowed in because they reaped a harvest in minutes.
Reaping can come in a multitude of ways but as Christians we can learn to recognize the harvest by asking the question, “Is God trying to bless me right now?” When it comes to an idea to produce an honourable income, in the natural it takes longer for the idea to produce fruit, be patient with your idea but do the necessary thing and act on it.
The principle of sowing and reaping was designed to increase you. It is important to learn to expect a harvest and to recognize the harvest. Your harvest may come in a way that you least expected but be ready to reap when it comes. Accept God’s favour on you, examine opportunities that are presented to you, and don’t refuse gifts when others are led to give to you. Refusing their gift may prevent them from getting their harvest.
Check out Joshua Ray’s book "Your Church Won't Teach You This: Get the Inside Scoop on Interpreting the Bible" on amazon.com.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Faith News Niagara and Joshua Ray are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.
Sowing And Reaping: How To Reap
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Local author Joshua Ray shares his thoughts on the Scriptures, faith, & Biblical finances.
The key concept to remember is that when a farmer sows he fully expects a return.