Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Galatians 6:7-8
This is the primary law of harvest: whatever you put it, that’s what you’ll get out. If you plant apples, you get apples. If you plant carrots, you don’t get potatoes.
So Do not be deceived about all this, yourselves, (and don’t imagine that God can be mocked by your self-deception either! You reap whatever you sow. Whatever it is!
So if you invest (“sow”) in things that relate to the “here and now”, the normal run of life, then that’s what you produce. It’s not just a matter of money, but of time, commitment and emotional input. If your baseline is making money, being happy, being secure, achieving and maintaining good health and a good body, leaving a legacy for your family…. (fill in your own blanks), then that’s what you’re sowing into. That’s the harvest you expect and desire, right?
If ambition, celebrity, popularity, power, fame are driving motivations, then those are the things you are sowing into. “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Well, quite a few, it seems.
(And if and when you get what you’ve sown into, remember me, right?)
But should you expect more? Should you expect a heavenly harvest from a worldly investment? It doesn’t seem logical. Paul’s answer is No.
Jesus said the same. He said “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6)
So, what is it to “sow to the Spirit”? Based on this last quote, I suppose that Jesus would have asked us: “Where is your treasure?”
And how do I store up for myself treasure in heaven?
Paul gives a few hints, here and there. In Colossians 3:23–24, he suggests that: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”.
Jesus said that the tiniest act of knidness would not go unnoticed: “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Everyone has different stuff to invest (see1 Corinthians 12) such as teaching, singing, or playing a musical instrument but watch out that you’re not seeking applause because, as Jesus said, that’s the only reward you’ll get (Matthew 6:16)! Invest wisely.
Our ministries may differ, but the Lord we serve is the same. “The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8).
The rich young man loved his money more than God in Matthew 19:16–30, a fact that Jesus incisively pointed out. The issue wasn’t that the young man was rich but that he “treasured” his riches and did not “treasure” what he could have in Christ. Jesus told the man to sell his possessions and give to the poor, “and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (verse 21). The young man left Jesus sad, because he was very rich. He chose this world’s treasure and so did not lay up treasure in heaven. He was unwilling to make Jesus his treasure.
So “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).