For over seventeen years I’ve had a garden. My garden is a sanctuary for me; a place of encounter where Jesus and I talk about many things.So often I plant something in the ground and then wonder if the seed will germinate and produce a harvest. Some seed doesn’t promise a harvest until weeks later, so the anticipation seems much greater in the waiting. Seed is likened to an impartation of the Word sown into our hearts. John wrote, “No one born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). Seed (sperma) is a word used to describe germinating characteristics. When seed is sown it produces plants, a harvest, or human offspring. So, when you and I are born again God places His seed inside us; the life of the kingdom is germinated within. Which, by the way, changes our nature so that we don’t abide in sin; therefore, the fruit of our life changes, too (see Gal. 5:22-23).
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed seed in his field” (Matthew 13:24). The kingdom, then, carries a germinating quality in it—kingdom seed—that produces characteristics that look like heaven within a person. We cannot help but look and act different because God has sown His seed inside us. Over time, the kingdom of God and its values will be manifested through our life. One expositor said that the word seed used in John and Matthew describes the divine energy of the Holy Spirit operating inside us. We will never be the same when God sows into our lives. It may not be immediate, but when God deposits seed into hearts a harvest of righteousness is well on its way and people will be nourished by the fruit of our lives.
There’s an aspect about this, however, that I want to underscore. Many of us battle discouragement in the waiting—at least, I’ve been challenged with discouragement a time or two while waiting. Many of us have returned from a National Awakening in Arlington, Texas, where nearly 1500 people were immersed in the manifest presence of God. Atmospheres such as what we experienced are “seed sowing” moments when God inserts kingdom characteristics into our spiritual DNA. The harvest of what was sown, though, may not be evident for weeks, months, or, in some cases, years later.
For some people, things may become more difficult upon returning home. I’ve already spoken to pastors who have told me some of the challenges that they’ve faced after being home only a week. The hopes, dreams, and promises that pastors and leaders felt inspired with, only a week ago, have now become the source of derision. Additionally, some people who attended the conference last week didn’t “feel the encounter” that they had hoped to receive. Yet, I would argue that even though a person didn’t think anything happened, the fact that they were hungry, open, and obedient to the Holy Spirit caused something—seed—to be sown into their hearts. I would also argue that a person didn’t need to be at the conference to receive seed from the Lord. Every single time a person opens the Word of God and reads it with a compliant, repentant heart, God deposits seed into their heart whether they know it or not.
The reality is that a harvest is coming to those who are faithful to steward what they’ve been given. What do I mean by that? In the natural, when I sow seed into the ground my work is not finished. I must nurture the soil, water the ground, remove weeds, and drive away pests. If I don’t properly steward what I’ve sown, it will negatively affect what has been planted and ultimately limit my harvest. The fact is, God has sown seed into your heart from the moment you were born again and every time that you yield your heart to His presence. Steward what you have received no matter how small or insignificant the seed seems at the moment. Don’t become discouraged in the process; remember, He’s in the waiting.
When you get up tomorrow pray, get into the Word, seek the presence of God, and give Jesus away to as many as you can. Do the same the next day and so on. It doesn’t matter how you feel, what the enemy says, or how difficult your life and ministry is. You carry within you the life-giving seed from God; the kingdom of God has been planted into your spirit and a harvest is on its way. Paul wrote, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9). Your consistency to steward today’s seed will enhance the production of tomorrow’s harvest.
Finally, don’t look at someone else’s harvest and get discouraged. The fruit of another person can be appreciated and honored, but never envied.I admire the fruit that I see in those I love. The way that some teach, pray, lead people to Jesus, disciple, heal, and influence the multitudes inspires me, but their harvest came at a great sacrifice for them. I’ve been given kingdom seed and each day I must steward what has been given to me to bring the increase. My harvest won’t look like someone else’s any more than my sons look like other children. God’s seed will look slightly different through you than through someone else.
Steward what you’ve been given and rejoice in the harvest that will be produced.
Jesus, thank you for the seed that you’ve put within me. Your Word never returns void, but enable me to steward what I have been given to bring the increase, amen.