Notice the emphasis on hearing here. We must hear the word, receive the good seed, before we can plant it. The eagerness and seriousness with which we hear and accept the word will determine whether we are entrusted with more, which will give us seed to sow, which will lead to harvest.
26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4
I have always found this to be a fascinating and challenging little parable. Perhaps because I love to be in control. I’m the barbarian—if it moves and is not supposed to—kill it. If it does not move and it is supposed to—poke it until it does.
I’m the builder and the fixer—if I need it I’ll build it, if it’s broke I’ll fix it.
I’m the daddy and the pastor—if you’re broke I’ll fix you.
That’s my default M.O.
So, what do you mean just scatter the seeds and go to sleep not knowing how it grows? I want to know, I want to help, I want to do. . . I need to be in control!
And therein lies the problem. I have had to learn how to let go, and that’s what this means. Jesus is essentially saying– Use what I have entrusted you with to plant some seeds that I can bless and use to produce more fruit, so that I can get more seeds and entrust more people to sow. It’s really a simple concept, and a whole lot less stressful.
If you have planted good seeds, you have to let them grow. Only God can do that.
You can’t force a seed to geminate on demand and you can’t hurry the growth along by driving your tractor around in the field everyday just because you have to be doing something. You will end up destroying the crop.
The greatest and hardest example of that—where we all have or are struggled? If you’ve spoken truth into your kid’s lives, you have to let them grow—and let them go. If you’ve planted good seeds there will one day be a harvest. But first come thunderstorms and days of scorching heat.
That concept of reaping and sowing, and leaving the growth up to God applies to every aspect of our lives. And the big part in the middle, the part between the sowing and the reaping—the very long and patience demanding grow part—that has to be left to God. There is no way around that.
So it is of utmost importance what you are sowing– what you are scattering.
What are you throwing out there?
There’s an old tongue in cheek superstition amongst construction workers in this Montana land of Big Skies and big winds—Don’t say wind.
It’s a beautiful fall day to frame, lay block, roof, set trusses— whatever and someone—usually the new guy— will pipe up with; “Sure hope the wind doesn’t come up—yesterday was miserable!” And before you know it, the wind is blowing, and everyone blames the guy who used the “W” word.
I don’t know if there’s anything to that, but I always seriously wonder—and so does everyone else.
Words have power, words spoken into the hearts of others and words spoken to the heavens have immense power and far reaching ramifications of which we will never fully know.
As believers, created in the image of God and enlivened and empowered by His Spirit—all we do, say and think, ultimately has some effect on what we can harvest when the season comes. Which brings us to the last part of the equation.
Hear the word, sow the word, trust the one who spoke the word—and then harvest.
29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4
What will you be harvesting? What are you harvesting?
You can only reap what you sow.
In the real world, no matter how fancy your bread or where you bought it—someone had to plant a seed to get the grain that made the flour that made that bread. That applies to everything we eat. Someone had to put the very thing that could be made into the food we eat into the ground to die, in order to produce more of it, so that we could eat tomorrow.
You can’t grind your seed crop into flour. Even if you have to go hungry today, it may be necessary to ensure tomorrow, for you and many others.
Bottom line—If you want something you need to be willing to give it up.
What does that mean?
If you need healing? Be a healer. Need courage? Be an encourager. Need prayer? Be a prayer warrior. Need mercy? Be merciful. Need money? Give what you have.
You get the point.
How does any of that make sense? It only makes sense in the kingdom of God, but that is where you live—if you dare. It’s called faith.
Jesus has so much in store for you, if you’ll just trust him. If today is to be the day of your blessing, be a blessing.
Nothing that we cling to in this life compares to the riches to come.