By Amberlin Salas
I saw this quote recently, “God doesn’t bless what you sinned to get.” In our culture where sin is a large grey area and it is offensive to call it for what it is, there is a common idea that we can live how we want to live and still have the favor and blessings of God. It simply does not work that way. This God that we serve is God of order and balance. He is keen on the concept of “cause and effect.” If you plant an apple tree, you cannot expect oranges to appear. Likewise, if you sow selfishness, pride, and stubbornness, you will not get peace, favor, and joy. It is impossible. This is confirmed by Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” and Hosea 10:12, ” Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Jesus further confirmed the concept of sowing and reaping in Matthew 12:33-35 when He said that we could know someone by their fruit. A good tree brings forth good fruit, but a bad tree brings forth bad fruit. Whatever is in us, that is what we will bring forth. He said, “Oh generation of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?” We cannot expect to live worldly and sinful and still bring forth good fruit.
Yet, there are many wonderful promises from God in His word that if we live according to His ways, we will reap a harvest of promise. We will bring forth good fruit. How do we obtain that fruit? How do I reap that blessed harvest of peace and favor? While there are many more, here are some promises that are within our grasp as children of God and what we need to sow in order to reap them.
Genesis 28:15 — God will not depart and will keep you no matter where you go.
Joshua 1:8 – A prosperous way and good success wherever you go.
Psalm 121:1-8 — He will never leave or forsake, He will help, He never sleeps and will always work on your behalf, He will keep you and is a shield around you, and He will preserve you from evil.
Matthew 6 — He will provide your daily needs. Psalm 37:4 — He will give you the desires of your heart.
Philippians 4:7— Peace that passes all understanding.
These are such beautiful promises. Who would not want to experience all of these wonderful blessings which are freely given to those who serve Jesus? He does not make us earn our salvation by our goodness (or lack of), nor does He make us earn His promises this way. Salvation and promises can only be obtained by obedience to His word. It is not about our worthiness, but it is all about our willingness. In order to qualify for the promises of God we must be willing to love Him, acknowledge Him, and commit to giving our lives to Him through faithfulness.
Psalm 145:20 — “The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy” Love is the key that unlocks preservation and a relationship with Jesus. It is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). That relationship of love is the vehicle that carries us into eternal fellowship with God. Love also preserves and protects us from deception (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). When we truly love Him with everything within us, we seek to please Him and follow His ways.
Proverbs 3:6 — “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. To acknowledge means to know by experience or to get to know in a personal way. How do we get to know someone? We build a relationship. This verse says that in everything we do, get to know God. Find out what He thinks about your life and the decisions you are making. By doing this, your ways will be directed. You will know what to do and where to go. Philippians 4:6 says that we can have peace that supersedes our understanding by not worrying, seeking God and acknowledging Him in all you do. If you let God be first in your affections and priorities, He promises to take care of your every need and desire (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4).
Proverbs 6:3, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” This is a wonderful promise. The word “thoughts” means plan or purpose. If we commit to serving God, our purpose will be steadfast. We will be able to live our lives with meaning and can make a difference in our world. Committing means to make up your mind to do it and never change. In order to reap a harvest of promise, we have to give everything to Jesus and never turn back. We cannot be hot one day and cold the next. There must be a resounding, “Yes!” that lasts forever.
Psalm 31:23 — “0 love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Faithful means to be steadfast, unmoving like a pillar. Faithfulness is a prerequisite to promises (1 Corinthians 4:2). If we cannot continue our commitment and turn it into faithfulness, we cannot reap the harvest of promise. There is a lot to faithfulness: tithing, ministering, loving others, and being faithful to God’s house and His guidelines. When we sow in faithfulness, we reap the harvest that promises provision, preservation, peace, and guidance.
It is obvious that sowing and reaping is important to God because everywhere we look in His word we see clauses. “I will do if you will do.” It is important for us as the people of God to be aware of what we are sowing for we not only want to reap a harvest of promise for our own lives, but also for the lives of our families and for those who we are trying to reach for Jesus.
Amberlin Salas is an avid writer and is currently working on her first book due to be published soon. She is the wife of Rev. Ray Salas, a licensed UPCI minister and together they serve on the Alabama District UPCI Youth Committee as section 8 representative.
Ray also serves as Youth Pastor and Amberlin as Music Director for Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Greenville, Alabama.