A TIME TO SOW
by Shelly Mathis
We are sowing seeds on a moment-by-moment basis. The types of seeds determine the harvests we receive.
Creation teaches us that there is a process before fruit is borne. Just as the seeds of the earth gradually mature and bear fruit, so do the seeds of the Kingdom and of the flesh. Sometimes we mistakenly expect our seeds to produce an immediate harvest or misunderstand our current circumstances having forgotten the seeds previously sown. The Word declares that a harvest is promised for every seed sown – whether good or bad.
26And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
Now is the time to examine the seeds we are sowing and take responsibility for them. Are they seeds that will cause the Kingdom of God to flourish within us, or are they seeds of the flesh that will produce corruption in body, soul, and spirit? The spirit and flesh are at war with one another, and their seeds are contrary to one another (Galatians 5:17). We choose whether we sow to the Spirit or flesh. It is never an accident.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
No matter the spiritual season we find ourselves in, there are seven Kingdom seeds we can sow that will produce an abundant harvest of His goodness in our lives. Doing so will allow the Lord to pour out His anointing and glory upon us, causing our relationship with Him to flourish.
Rather than sowing fear and unbelief, let us sow a pure faith – for faith alone accesses the benefits of our covenant in the Kingdom.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is the evidence that we believe we already possess the promise, even if it is yet unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus continually taught that the measure we receive is directly related to the measure of our faith. Our level of understanding determines our level of faith. The more we internally unite our hearts with the Truth of God's Word, the more we believe... and receive. (Romans 10:17).
2.) A LISTENING HEART
A noisy and distracted soul obliterates the voice of God, but a listening heart receives the wisdom necessary to cooperate with His work in this season.
20And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. 21Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
When we practice sowing the seed of a listening heart, we are learning to move in the flow of the Spirit. He trains us to move victoriously through every situation and circumstance, in peace or adversity. This divine connection permeates our heart while being busy with that which lies at hand. We are able to hear His still, small voice directing us to turn to the right or the left. It is like dancing... He leads, and we follow.
3.) ROLL AWAY REPROACH
To truly flourish in the Kingdom requires forgiving ourselves and releasing all who have reproached us; holding on to reproach results in spiritual barrenness and a harvest of thistles and thorns.
19You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all before You.
20Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Reproach is a condition which prevents a heart from flourishing and producing a harvest of the Lord's goodness. Reproach is the pinnacle of rejection; we apply (or receive) disapproval, disdain, shame, and blame. We can reproach ourselves or receive reproach from others.
As we develop a listening ear, the Holy Spirit will continually reveal to us areas where we have received reproach. It is a choice to hang on to reproach or to receive the blessing of the Blood of Christ which rolls the reproach away. When we truly listen to Him, His words roll away our reproach and heal our hearts (Psalm 107:20).
4.) SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY
We must stop sowing laziness and victimization, for God has commissioned us to sow the seed of His authority in our lives and over the enemy.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
We sow the seed of authority by approaching life from the position of our authority in Christ. What is that position? Victory. Under His authority, we then rule over every aspect of our lives as kings – conquering the land of our hearts for the Lord and submitting to the rule and reign of His Spirit within us.
Our responsibility is not only to rule over our lives, but to exercise our spiritual authority over Satan. He relentlessly works to distract our focus, sow his tares (lies), and keep us in bondage. We must sow our seed of authority over our flesh and the devil at every opportunity; this will maintain the good ground in our hearts and enable the Lord's work to prosper.
5.) THE WRITTEN & PROPHETIC WORD
Listening to Satan's lies silences the voice of God. May we rise up and by faith hear God’s voice, and in authority, echo His voice and sow the seeds of His written and prophetic Word in the earth.
10"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
We have the authority to sow God's written and prophetic Word wherever we have responsibility. When we develop those listening ears, He will give us prophetic seeds to sow in intercession and in prophetic proclamation. Let us sow faithfully and allow them to become that which the Lord destined them to be.
The enemy's attack is to silence the prophetic flow within us – through reproach, distraction, or sin. Do not allow him to silence your voice. Your covenant promise is to hear the Lord's voice and prophesy what He gives you to speak. Open your mouth, and the Lord will fill it!
6.) PRAISE & WORSHIP
The opposite of murmuring and complaining is praise and worship. Praise is one of the severest weapons that we can form against the enemy, and one of the greatest instruments we can wield to set ourselves free.
2 Chronicles 20:20-22
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.”
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
When we sow the seed of praise, the Lord is enthroned in our praises – He is exalted and the enemy is defeated. We are able to discern clearly from His perspective of grace, light, and truth. Faith soars in His presence, and the enemy flees. We reap the harvest of deliverance, faith, joy, strength, and life. What is desolate flourishes.
7.) HIS REST
We must cease striving in our own strength and sow into the flow of the Holy Spirit. He says, “You rest, and I’ll manifest.”
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
We are to sow into His rest. This rest equates to “death to the flesh” and “work by the Spirit.” It is not accomplished by our own tenacious gumption, but by yielding to the power of the Spirit of God working in us. We do our part by surrendering our darkness to His Light, by resisting temptation, and by allowing His Spirit to rule and reign within. His rest causes divine productivity in the anointing of ease; it is the flow of His Spirit.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
10 You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.
11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
When we sow the seeds of the Kingdom, the Lord will water them with His Spirit and cause our relationship with Him to flourish in abundant productivity. He will be exalted, and His glory will fill the earth. Amen!