One day in July, a farmer sat in front of his shack, smoking his corncob pipe. Along came a stranger who asked, “How’s your cotton coming?”
“Ain’t got none,” was the answer. “Didn’t plant none. ‘Fraid of the boll weevil.”
The stranger then asked, “Well, how’s your corn?”
“Didn’t plant none. ‘Fraid o’ drouth,” the farmer replied.
Next, the stranger asked, “How about your potatoes?”
“Ain’t got none. Scairt o’ tater bugs,” the farmer retorted.
The stranger finally asked, “Well, what did you plant?”
“Nothin,” answered the farmer. “I just played it safe.”
If you know the Law of the Harvest, you won’t play it safe. Reaping is not magical. You must first plant. Why? Like gravity, the Law of the Harvest always works irrespective of the user. Four principles, when followed, constitute the Law of the Harvest.
Principle #1: You reap what you sow.
I don’t know any farmer who plants apple seeds hoping to reap tomatoes. Apple seeds produce apple trees that bear apples. Tomato seeds produce tomatoes. You reap what you sow. The Bible was written in an agrarian society. God’s ancient people easily connected the biblical metaphors to their daily lives.
Paul declared, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7, NIV). Although Paul was speaking to an issue broader than the farm, he was warning the Galatians not to turn up their nose in the air by scorning God. You mock God by not realizing: Your lifestyle is the harvest of the seeds of your behavior. Similarly, when you plant financially you reap financially. This includes all aspects of resources.
A seed cannot remain a seed forever. You reap what you sow.
Principle #2: You prepare before you sow.
My opening story showed a fearful farmer. He’d convinced himself that every difficulty was lurking around the proverbial corner. So he was not prepared to plant any seeds. This paralysis can easily happen to anyone of us. Solomon cautioned, “If you worry about the weather and don’t plant seeds, you won’t harvest a crop” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, CEV).
Preparation is a precursor to sowing. You have to engage your faith to dismantle doubt, unbelief, and fear in order to apply the principles that lead to God’s promises. By fixing your eyes on Jesus, your faith is engaged. Reviewing your past victories also activates faith.
Preparing to sow may require you to sell some stuff on eBay, eat out less frequently, or finally establishing a budget. In other words, to prepare for sowing you must be intentional.
Principle #3: You reap later than you sow.
The next day after planting sunflower seeds I was angry. I was only 10 years old. I thought the garden center ripped me off. There were no sunflower plants much less sunflowers. My disappointment was quickly reversed in a few months. The six-foot-tall sunflowers beautifully adorned my little garden.
A critical lesson was learned: You reap later than you sow. Paul said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, NIV). Once sown, there is a gestation period to your financial seeds. Everything has a gestation period. Elephants carry their offspring for 22 months while opossums typically emerge from the womb in 12 days.
While there is no exact timeline as to how long it takes to reap after you sow, what we are aware of is this: God is keeping watch. The seed that leaves your hand never leaves your life. It goes into your future and there produces a harvest. Be patient! You reap later than you sow.
Principle #4: You reap more than you sow.
Are you familiar with corn math? One kernel (or seed) of corn typically produces two large ears on one corn plant. The number of kernels per ear is about 1,000. Using corn math, the seeds from two ears of corn (or 2,000 kernels) would yield 4,000 large ears of corn (or 4 million kernels). That’s incredible. That’s corn math. Whether you choose to sow corn, compassion, or cash, the principle is irrefutable: You reap more than you sow.
Jesus puts it this way, “Still other seed fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted” (Mark 4:8, NLT)! If you’re expecting a harvest, remember: You reap more than you sow.
To predict a future blessing: Remember the Law of the Harvest.