Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Dear Colleagues,

LIFE LESSON #8: (Continued) WHAT WE SOW WE REAP: (8 of 10)

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Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:7, 8)

In last weeks Facts we focused on the negative consequences of sowing to please our lower nature. In this Facts the focus is on the reward for those who sow to please the Spirit. In John 10:10 Jesus promises us an abundant life that is, eternal life. When we sow to please the Spirit we also enjoy the fruit of the Spirit in this life: Love, joy, peace, patience, etc. How could life this side of eternity not rise to a higher plane? A worthy study would be to compare the blessings and curses of obedience and disobedience in Deuteronomy 28. God does not promise us a Pollyanna, pain-free life, but he does furnish us with the inner spiritual fiber to live life joyfully and victoriously as he conforms us into his image. (See Rom. 8:18- 39)

Don Walkers life beautifully illustrates a man who has sown to please the Spirit. Don grew up in a severely dysfunctional family with an exceedingly masochistic step mother. Through his brother he found Christ. In the ensuing years he faced one issue after another from his abusive upbringing, as the Spirit and word of God brought about healing to his broken life. Two years ago we reunited after 45 years of separation. Don had matured into a gracious, Christ-centered man of God who exuded the beauty of Christ.

In Isaiah 58, God challenges the Israelites to give themselves in total to God and his service, and then makes this wonderful promise: Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guardThe Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (Isa. 58:8, 11) Talk about an upward crescendo!

Speaking from my own experience, I was astounded at the habitation of dragons that lurked beneath the surface of my newly found life in Christ. During the first decade or so after conversion, by Gods grace, and with the help of others, these critical and potentially devastating issues (lust, anger, pride, fear, bitterness, etc.) were identified and dealt with. How many intense times of prayer, repentance, pouring over and internalizing the Scriptures; how many years of inviting the transforming power of the Spirit to renew and empower me. In those years there were epic struggles and setbacks, but always a determination that the only option was to move forward toward a disciplined life lived consistently and victoriously under the enablement of the Spirit, and lived out through the Person of Christ. I can testify today from experience that such a life is possible, but only if we make it the only option, at whatever the price. Now in my 70s, I can testify from the depth of my being and from the top of my lungs that my life in Christ is more satisfying, more fulfilling, and sweeter than anything I could have ever imagined. It is true: What you sow, you reap. For better or for worse!

QUESTION: Are you inviting Gods divine scrutiny and transforming power into the inner sanctum of your soul? And are you taking the necessary measures to insure that you are in fact sowing to the Spirit and not to the flesh? If not, are you prepared to live with the inevitable consequences?

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