"...the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith."
When it comes down to it, the Christian life is work. Hard work. Striving for greater holiness and more conquering of sin so that I can “love the Lord my God” is work. Opening my heart, home, bank account, pantry, time, and talents so that I can “love my neighbor as myself” is work. If I am not actively working towards holiness, I am growing further away from it. My soul bears no label marked “auto-pilot.”
God tells me to sow in the Spirit. He wants me on my knees. He wants my hands busy and dirty: digging, planting, covering, watering. Row after row, acre after acre, person after person. Fields in America, fields in Uganda, fields in my family, fields in my children. Scatter the seed. Scatter in faith.
And as if being told to work is not enough, God further commands me to “not grow weary” in this kingdom work. It seems like a startling command as I am scattering the seed…”Don’t get tired of this kingdom field work, picture the harvest to come, that’s right…make another row…let the next person into your life…make the extra food…give the next dollar…”
Don’t get me wrong, this isn't a command to my body. God made me out of dust and he remembers that I am dust. I’ll be the first to stand up and say that my body feels as if it can’t fall deep enough and fast enough into bed every single night. No it’s not to my body that he speaks, but rather to my heart. Don’t let your heart grow weary of doing this good work. Don’t close your heart off to the poor (I John 3:16-18) or the widow and orphan (James 1:27), or the unbelieving nations (Matthew 28:19) or your children (Deut. 6:6-7). But I do know that a weary body is often a testimony to a non-weary soul…and that is the way it should be. “Spend and be spent” (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Suddenly, the deception becomes clear. Satan has made spiritual weariness acceptable. “It’s okay to not share the gospel with your neighbor. It’s okay to quit giving when people mis-use your gifts. It’s okay to say a quick prayer instead of storming the throne, especially if you’re running late in the morning. People hurt you, deceive you, wrong you, and generally make a dirty mess in your life--it’s okay to draw away from them and protect yourself and your belongings.” He whispers to the church and to me. And as we are drifting off to sleep, Jesus cries, “Can you not watch with me for one hour?” The process is clear…first weariness becomes acceptable, then sleep comes, then temptation and finally sin. (Mark 14) Exhausted of doing good, we begin to close off our hearts, then we get up off our knees, wash our hands of seed and dirt and go about our own business of loving ourselves…to death.
When the scales fall off, I see the command as God intended it…as a blessing to me…seed sowing breathes life into my sleepy soul. It keeps me from becoming weary. It causes me to take my eyes off the cares of this world and look to my future hope. My future hope and future rewards give me courage throw more seed even after I've been burned and hurt. I eagerly look towards harvest time as row by row, righteousness and peace are carried in by the eternal basket full. (Hebrews 12:11)
God, have I closed off my heart and allowed my arms become feeble and my knees weak? Forgive me! Strengthen me! Strengthen my heart to sow seeds of godliness in my children, strengthen me to give more generously to the poor, strengthen me to create a more hospitable home, strengthen me to reach out to the widow and orphan, strengthen me to place all my worldly goods and all my talents before you to use how and when you wish. God, open my heart and open my hand to scatter the seed and expect a great harvest!