Have you ever tried to lay a guilt trip on God?
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who focuses on his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who works on walking in the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
There is a lot of teaching on what you sow you’ll reap. It’s obvious. If you sow wheat, you get wheat. If you sow pumpkin seed, you get large orange fruit.
You need to be careful here. Some teachers use this verse as a way to attempt to control God. I don’t know if God laughs or cries about this.
They (you be the discerner of whom this applies to) teach that sowing and reaping is an irrevocable law that God must honor—always in the context of money. If you sow into their ministry, God will be forced to give you a harvest of money.
As a manipulative principle it is ludicrous. However, as a personal act of obedience to the Spirit it may be something the Lord would have you do. Don’t be talked into it by the emotional manipulations of TV entertainment or direct mail. As always, this is a personal thing between you and God by His Holy spirit. We are not lemmings, but sons & daughters.
On the other hand, it is also how we are supposed to live. We are to be givers—following the lead of the Holy Spirit. We are to give of ourselves, our time, our money, our effort. The Spirit will show you what He wants you to do.
Focus on what matters
Paul is using the sowing/reaping concept to talk a little about the focus of your life. If your life is filled with improving your health and growing your wealth, you are in trouble. The same is true of entertainment, pursuit of pleasure, and dedication to amassing stuff. The harvest of that is not good.
Can you change your health?
This is an interesting question. Are there certain diseases and physical conditions that are part of your load and which cannot be avoided? Probably. Does God heal? Of course. How are we to deal with these issues?
Your health and wealth are part of your load. You can make yourself feel better. You are certainly charged with being a good steward of the assets God gives you. But give me chapter and verse showing me where this is ever supposed to be your goal. They are merely what you have been given to work with.
The operative scripture is plain. It comes from Jesus and is radical as usual.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [Matthew 6:31–32 ESV]
The same is true about your daily bread, your ministry, your status, your health, your wealth, and so on. We must seek the kingdom of God first.
Can you change your wealth?
Probably not! You can squander it or be a good steward of the assets He gives. But your portion is probably determined before you are born. How are we to deal with these issues?
Our life in the kingdom is empowered by the Holy Spirit. We must focus on that. The Holy Spirit will only do in our lives what we ask him to do. He never forces himself upon us. God is not into spiritual rape or forced servitude.
We must focus on hearing God and responding to His lead. We must ask Him to reveal to us our sin. We must ask Him to reveal where we are to go in following Him. We must ask Him to fill us to overflowing. We must ask Him to use us. We must ask Him to work through us.
Of course, he is not limited by our prayers. But he loves us and only works in us and through us as we allow Him to. The focus of our life has to be allowing Him to work on us and through us to minister to those around us. How many times did Jesus talk about us asking? The key is what we are asking about. James gives us a little guidance here:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 4:1–4 ESV]
You’ll be surprised at how much your focus affects your life and your lifestyle.