You Need to Plant a Seed to Have a Harvest
Kingdom Principle: Seeds; Part IV
Locate in Scripture: Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15
The autumn following our move out into the country brought with it a wonderful surprise; apples. As I walked my dogs around our property I noticed we had an apple tree and over the course of several months watched the process of this tree bear fruit. By harvest time, I had spent a lot of time thinking about its growth process; the result was a blog post about remaining in the vine and producing fruit as a natural byproduct as part of that union. To sum up the feedback I received from my readers: It was a beautiful sentiment, without any concrete information on how to ‘remain in the vine’ and ‘bear fruit’. (You can read the original post & comments here).
One comment in particular stood out because the reader wanted information on how to do this, however his caveat was that he did not wish for the answer of reading the Bible and praying. This is what he said, “You have given the classic answer of having relationship with God. Does this simply mean reading one’s Bible and participating in what seems to be very one sided babble at an empty room. If that is all there is it seems a bit flat and one-sided and easily turns into works based "remaining in God".
As I prayed about this and how to respond, I asked the Lord for direction and insight on giving him something more than these things to help. His reply to me was direct, instant and something I already knew. The Lord said to me, “why would I give you another way, when I’ve already given you the best way!” God places such importance on His Word, that He would not substitute a relationship with Him in favor of some other less meaningful means of “remaining in him”. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32).
As I thought about this, I became a little indignant that someone should ask me for practical steps on how to have a relationship with God and take away the power to respond by dismissing the validity of reading the Bible. The simple truth is that we need God’s Word. Peter said, all things for life and godliness come through the knowledge of him (II Peter 1:3-4). Jesus said this was the key to bearing fruit in the very same passage about the vine, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8).
You Get What You Plant
It’s simple; you can’t have a garden without planting a seed. In the natural realm we’d laugh at people expecting a crop without planting seed. The spiritual realm works the same way. We MUST plant a seed to have a harvest. Since the Kingdom operates out of the principle of seeds and the Word is the seed, we must be Word minded people, meditating and planting these seeds instead of the world’s seeds.
The truth is that every word you hear is a seed; you are either planting life or death. Proverbs tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). Paying more attention to what the world says, what the media says, what the TV says will only give you death. If you continually plant those seeds, then of course you will live in fear and unrest. Paul said in Romans, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). In other words, to be carnally minded, controlled by the natural, will kill you. If you want peace you have to sow it. If you want intimacy with God, you have to sow it.
You get what you plant. Whatever you plant is what will be released and grow in your life. This is why we must be intentional about what we plant because the harvest comes from those seeds. By looking at what is being reaped in our lives, we know what was previously sown.
However, this truth has amazing applications for life. As an example, if you are sick, plant verses on healing and health. Meditate on God’s promises surrounding it, give it time and this seed will release the physical substance for healing. Psalms tells us “He sent forth his word and healed them” (Psalm 107:20a). Proverbs says “for they [Words] are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body” (Proverbs 4:22). In the same way, if you are struggling with guilt and condemnation, then plant the seeds of righteousness so you know how God sees you. Ephesians says, “and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Paul said “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). There is a seed for everything you need.
Why does this work? Because “you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (I Peter 1:23). The Word is incorruptible seed, it works each and every time, and every word contains life in itself! Everything you need is in God’s word in seed form. If you plant it and mix it with faith, you will see results (Hebrews 4:2). The Word mixed with faith will produce a supernatural God kind of life overtaking any situation you face. But to have a harvest you must plant a seed otherwise you will get weeds.
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
This is an amazing truth. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. The core of what we believe will be evident in our lives. Changing our thinking, will changes our lives. This is why we must renew our mind by the Word of God (Romans 12:2), so God’s truth will be evident. This theme runs throughout the scripture.
Proverbs tells us, “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:20-23).
Peter tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (II Peter 1:3-4).
Isaiah said, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3) or as the Amplified puts it, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Isaiah 26:3 AMP).
Meditating on the Word, planting seeds of life will give you peace. Sowing God’s word and His thoughts about how to live and how to have a relationship with Him will naturally over take you and change your thoughts, your behavior and your life. Because this is a Kingdom principle, it is the same principle that grass, trees and people come from. You’ll never get a crop unless you plant a seed. Believers can harness the principle of the seed as an agent of change.
The reply to my reader was exactly this, if you haven’t been bearing fruit from your relationship with God, then start planting the seeds to do it. Intimacy comes through knowing who God is. And God has revealed Himself through Jesus and through the scriptures (Hebrews 1:1-4; II Peter 1:3-4). This is the way He has designed this relationship to function, you can’t shortchange it in some other way.
Join me for Part V; ‘A Seed Will Split a Rock'.