Consider this: A man plants corn seed in the ground. He then goes to sleep and gets up the next morning. He does this day after day and night after night. The seed springs and grows up, but the man has no clue how it happens.
The ground grows the seed, all by itself. First, it’s a small stalk, then an ear appears, after that, the full corn in the ear. At this point, the man cuts the corn from the stalk because the harvest has arrived.
And, if you’re like me, you read this and think, “This is the stuff they teach in beginning farming. What’s the point?”
If you grew up in church, like me, you recognize this as one of the comparisons Jesus made to the kingdom of God (reference Mark 4:26-29).
Whatever you sow in this life is what you reap. In addition to the natural, our words are seeds, as well.
The Apostle Paul cautioned the church at Galatia, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 [NKJV]).
Because of this principle, I believe in prosperity.
If you talk prosperity, your life will tend towards prosperity and vice versa; if you talk poverty, your life will head towards poverty.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21).
You can’t talk poor mouthed and expect to be prosperous, nor can you talk prosperity (i.e., the riches of God) and remain poor for too long.
Again, your words are seeds you sow, and you will live by your own crop.
I decided years ago, if God called me rich (reference 2 Corinthians 8:9), then I’m not going to argue with Him; I’ll simply agree with the Word of God and call myself rich, too.
Over the years, prosperity has found its way to me. And while I wasn’t raised on a farm, I learned quickly there’s work in reaping.
If you have 600 acres of wheat and it all matures at once, you’ve got a lot of harvesting to do. You’ll probably need help getting it out of the field and you better have a plan for storing it or selling it. There is a lot of work associated with reaping.
Over time, I came to understand that, if I expect a bigger harvest, I would have to sow more seed. And, conversely, if I sowed more seed, I better prepare myself to deal with a larger harvest.
When I was first introduced to these principles of faith, I was excited about the possibility of controlling my own destiny through the words I spoke and the seeds I would sow. The future seemed bright and my potential endless.
“I will speak wealth, give as much as within my capacity, and watch the blessings grow,” assuming it would be just that simple.
Then I learned of the labor associated with a harvest. It wasn’t burdensome, it was and is a labor of love.
I have recently learned of the labor associated with giving, or maybe I should say sowing.
Over the years, I have donated to various charitable organizations on a routine basis. As the Lord blesses me, I increase my giving. As the Lord leads, I donate to other ministries, as well. Recently, the Lord has blessed me and introduced me to other ministries I am now compelled to support.
Because I am old school and like the tactical feel of writing checks, my monthly routine of donating to these ministries takes more time. As I write the checks, I thank my Heavenly Father that I can give and that He will multiply my seed sown (reference 2 Corinthians 9:10).
During this process, I keep my spiritual ears open in case the Lord wants to speak to me. And earlier this month, He did.
To be honest, I don’t remember if I said it out loud or simply thought it, but it hit me, it takes time and effort to write checks, account for them in the ledger, address and stamp envelopes.
During this, I heard the Lord say, “Sowing is work, too.”
Now, I was fully aware of the effort it takes to get your harvest, but I had never considered the exertion of sowing. I mentioned this to a friend and he adamantly agreed with me. He immediately began to tell me of what he does before sowing a field for corn (e.g., tilling the ground three different times, adding lime between to “sweeten” the soil).
“Brother Tim, why are you telling us this?”
When some folks hear the Word of Faith message, they call it the “name it, claim it” or the “blab it, grab it” teaching. I wish it were that easy. There is blessing in serving the Lord and He adds no sorrow to it (reference Proverbs 10:22), but that doesn’t mean there won’t be labor.
Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at email@example.com