This morning, we continue our message series entitled, “Plant” where we are challenging ourselves to be more intentional about the Biblical life principle that we reap what we sow; we harvest what we plant.
We want to plant the things of God both into our lives and into those around us. We want to allow Him to develop and grow good roots within us which produce good fruits.
Do not be deceived:
God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows.
When planning a garden, would you go to the store, dump a bunch of seeds into a bag, mix it up, dump it in a big pile on your front lawn and then say, “Well, if it’s meant to be, it’ll be!”?
No! Instead, you carefully plan out your garden based on what you want to harvest. You select the right place for it that has the right ground, the right amount of sunlight, and the right moisture. You then cultivate that ground.
Lastly, you buy specific seeds for the fruits and veggies that you want to harvest and intentionally plant every individual seed exactly where you want it to grow. When anything begins to grow that you did not intentionally plant, you pull it up by the roots and cast it aside to its death.
1 Corinthians 3:9
…you are God’s field…
How is God’s field looking? Take a moment, reflect on your life objectively looking at it as if though it were a large field.
Is it looking like a chaotic potluck of plants that changes with every step through it? Does one get tangled up in weeds and thorns as they are looking for the good in it? Are we a little prickly and unapproachable? Would others want the fruit that it is producing?
Or is it an easy to navigate field with a plentiful bounty of good plants bearing a good harvest? Is it a field that looks inviting to others and one that they would gladly eat from? Is it one that others would want to model their own lives after?
It’s not that God demands perfection or that He doesn’t love us and the hot mess that we may be. It’s about where our hearts and desires are at. Do we want to live a life that honors and glorifies God? Do we want to follow His plans and purposes, His blueprint, for our lives?
Having a humble heart that trusts God and His ways enables Him to arrange our life, His field, in such a way that is able to grow well, become healthy, and to produce good fruit.
Thankfully, so long as we live, we have the opportunity to work on our lives and to allow God to transform these fields that we are from chaos to abundance!
Thankfully, so long as we live, we have the opportunity to work on our lives and to allow God to transform them from chaos to abundance!
When we see a rainbow in the sky, we remember the covenant that God made with Noah, but we don’t often recall this part of that promise! After leaving the ark, Noah built and altar and gave an offering to the Lord on it.
21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
So long as you draw another breath, it is still an unceasing opportunity to sow and reap; plant and harvest. The field of your life can still reach its full potential!
We must be mindful of this, however.
We’re not going to be walking about through life and all of the sudden stumble into a season of peace and joy and patience. No, if we want to produce a rich and plentiful harvest of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, then we need to cultivate and plant the seed of the Spirit into our lives. We need to weed out anything else that tries to grow and compete with it.
It will not happen accidentally. It requires us to be intentional about how we cultivate and what we plant in our lives.
This morning, we’re taking a look at one of the most significant tools that God has given us with which to plant: words!
God spoke and everything came into existence. Then, He formed mankind in His own image and breathed into us the breath of life. Our words have creative power and authority!
With my words, I can cultivate a completely depressing atmosphere by telling you all about the woes of life and how miserable we all are. Sort of like Solomon’s “everything is meaningless” teachings or a few chapters from Lamentations. We’d all leave here Eeyore’s!
With my words I can cultivate division and rage by telling you preselected facts to sway your opinion a certain way about a group of people and paint your perspective toward them in a way that you’ll never be able to shake. Every “torch and pitchfork” movie scene starts with one voice swaying the minds and voices of the angry mob, right?
With my words, I can cause your faith to arise and give you a brand new hope by telling you testimony after testimony about what good thing God did for others in your same situation.
With just a few simple words, I can cause you to hate me and never want to talk to me again.
Our words are like a seeds and our minds and mouths are like seed spreaders. Well, some mouths may be more like manure spreaders, but that’s another message for another time… 🙂
Picture your brain like a storage bin of seed and your mouth a seed spreader.
What’s the easiest way to be sure that we are sowing and planting good, Kingdom seeds? Ensure that what’s in our brain is full of good, Kingdom seed!
What we think, we speak.
If we think maliciously, then we will speak slander. If we fill our mind with worry, we will speak doubt. If we think vainly, we will speak pridefully. If we fill our mind with fear, we will speak worst case scenarios.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 most freeing way to live is to think in such a way that you don’t need to constantly worry about what is going to come out of your mouth. In fact, most of us have faces that reveal what is in our minds without saying a word!
If we think right and fill our minds with what is right, God calls it repenting, then we can be free to just be us without fear of sowing or planting bad seed. Our lives will also sprout good plants and bear good fruit when we keep our mind full of Godly things.
I love how this is worded in the Good News Translation of the Bible:
Proverbs 16:23 (GNT)
Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.
If you want to win some spiritual warfare this year, then start in your mind!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
It is way easier to toss aside a tiny, bad seed than it is to remove a giant shrub with deep roots spreading far. It is way easier to toss aside a simple thought than it is to remove a perspective and mindset rooted deeply into our character. Clean mind, clean mouth, clean life!
Remember this teaching of Jesus from last week?
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Clean what is on the inside and everything else will be clean. Clean our thoughts and then our attitudes will be clean, our language will be clean, our behavior will be clean, our lives will be wholesome and integrally clean.
Words start in our minds before they ever leave our mouths! Words don’t have to land in someone’s ears to bear fruit, either. They change atmospheres!
Have you ever walked into your house and instantly knew that a fight had just taken place? You don’t see anyone or even hear anything. However, you sense the heaviness and pain caused by all of the words that had just been hurled around before you walked in.
There is a spiritual realm all around us listening to our words and they are ready to take action accordingly. Angels to execute God’s will when we speak God’s word and demons to use our words to cause fear, temptation, division, or anything else that they can do to keep us from God’s will.
Psalm 103:20 (NKJV)
Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
Our words have power and authority to create. We want to be ones who speak words in agreement with God’s word and His principles and His precepts. We want to be a prophetic voice speaking God’s potential who encourage and build up. We don’t want to be gossipers or slanderers or mockers that speak facts, but with the motive of tearing down others.
Just as a warning, if you spend a significant amount of time watching the news, you are likely filling your thoughts with the later. Sure, they are presenting facts, but they often do so with the motive of slandering and mocking those who think differently than they do!
We use God’s truth as a sword to win the battles of our mind and to destroy the work of the enemy. We can demolish ideas and philosophies and thoughts contradictory to God’s word without tearing down the people speaking them.
We can disagree and still keep our love on toward others. We are called to destroy the work of the devil, not the people that he has held captive. We are on a rescue mission to save the lost, not to drive them further into the enemy’s captivity as prisoners of war!
So, as we continue through this near year, let’s be more mindful of our thoughts. Let’s be better tenders of our field. Let’s be more intentional about the seed that we sow and plant through our words. Let’s intentionally speak good, Godly words. Let’s be a prophetic voice wherever we may go.