Sowing vs Planting

lessons-from-the-parables-the-parable-of-the-sower-and-seed.jpgThe ground is covered in a quarter-inch of ice with three inches of snow on top of that and it has me thinking of planting a crop.  The professional farmers have equipment that drills a hole, sets the seed, covers it with the proper amount of soil and disturbs just enough to allow for the seedling to easily emerge when the spring rains and warmth arrive.  The Lord of the Harvest uses a different technique for the harvest of human souls.  He scatters the seed. My pastor once referred to God as the “seed waster” with an endless supply scattering seed everywhere; on all soils, rocky, hard beaten down paths, thorny overgrown, as well as fertile. (Matt. 13: 4-23; Mark 4: 4-20; Luke 8: 5-15).  The seed is the Word of God, which never runs out and reaches all souls no matter the condition of their heart.

Of all the processes in farming, even though it is very hard work, I like soil preparation, clearing the brush, breaking up the sod, tilling the soil so that it is soft, free of debris, and ready to sow. God causes things to grow and spring to life, because He is life, but mankind was given a task.  “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Gen. 3: 17-19).  This is the difference for us, we must plant which requires work.  We must get everything prepared in the particular way a seed requires so that it will sprout, produce a stalk, fruit/grain, and a harvest.  Work is a central part of a mans life.

“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like.  A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (Mark 4: 26-27).  We must remember that only God gives life. Mankind with all our perceived knowledge has not unlocked the key to life.  What makes a thing live is its most elementary genius.  Although there is much we can do with life once started, through manipulation of parts and living elements, producing strains, selecting traits, and healing disease and infirmity, this is far from knowing the life within the seed.

The Spiritual harvest is similar in that we must wait on God to open the eyes of the unbelieving heart. (2 Corinthians 4: 4).  It is believing that initiates faith in the soul of man, by and through the grace of God.  In the movie, “God is Not Dead 2”, the central character answers the question, “What caused you to believe?”  The complete answer was that she recognized her need, sought a remedy, read the Bible, and believed it. However, the pivotal point was when she read the word’s of Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” It was as if God was speaking directly to her heart personally and she replied in belief, “My Lord and Savior.” This is the essence of life and faith, God’s influence upon the human body and Spirit.  We don’t know how it happens because it is eternal, infinite, power beyond measure, and God’s doing.

Still, there is much we do as God’s servants through a myriad of very small seemingly insignificant, prayers, words, gifts, helps, encouragement, acts of love and kindness, forgiveness, praise and adoration, etc. which work together in concert through the Sovereign will of God to advance the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.  What a glorious and gracious Lord we have to use us in His loving purposes, that we can live eternally in His majestic presence.

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