“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8
I’m not much of a gardener, but I do know this: If I plant tomatoes in the spring and tend to them well, I’ll have a bounty of tomatoes come summer. If I plant carrot seeds, I’ll grow carrots, and if I bury my favorite tulip bulbs before the first frost, I’ll enjoy their vibrant bursts of color for many years after.
What I sow in the garden is what I’ll reap in the harvest.
This was true for the Galatians, too, but in day-to-day life and with an added caveat: what the church planted revealed their motivation and whom they were trying to please – their own fleshly desires or the Spirit of God. The first, Paul said, would yield destruction. The latter, eternal life.
When we truly know Christ and surrender to His will, we die to our old sin nature and exchange it for righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 6:6, Romans 8:13). Gratifying our own indulgences and selfish desires produce a garden that needs serious attention. It should prompt us to ask ourselves some really hard questions about who we’re trying to please and if we’re truly following after Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I try not to plant things my family and I don’t like eating or seeing. The result simply won’t satisfy and the effort will be wasted. Let’s heed Paul’s warning and take the time to look at what we’re planting and growing. Are they seeds that please the Spirit or those that lead to destruction? Let’s make sure the seeds we sow and nurture are the ones we want sprouting.
For Further Study
Read Galatians 5:13-6:7. Make a list of everything Paul mentions that pleases the Spirit or are results of the Spirit.
Read Galatians 5:13-6:7 again. This time, make a list of fleshly desires and the things that lead to destruction.
Circle anything in the lists that reflect who you are and how you live, then ask yourself the following questions:
- What does this reveal about the seeds I’m sowing? Are they bearing fruits of the Spirit? A bounty of grace, patience, gentleness? If not, why? What is at the root of this problem and needs to change? What am I watering and fertilizing that should have been, as Galatians 2:20 explains, crucified with Christ? Reading Paul’s entire letter to the Galatians would be helpful.
Finally, re-read Galatians 6:8 and write a responsive prayer. Feel free to use this one and insert your own reflections.
Father, thank you for the gift of salvation through Christ. Forgive me for the ways I try to please my own flesh. I confess to being (insert appropriate words and phrases from your list here) and long for a deep and true faith that pleases the Spirit. Help me believe that you are my everything – That I am nothing without you, and only righteous in you. May I reap a bountiful and eternal harvest for your glory and purpose. Amen.
About the Author: Lisa DaSilva is a wife, mom of two young adults, and advocate for women to love God with their heart, soul and mind as they engage in responsible study of His Word. With an M.Ed in Curriculum Development and a teacher by trade and passion, she writes, speaks, and teaches the Bible to anyone who will read or listen. As the director of Arise Ministries Collective in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Lisa believes every woman has a voice. She longs for the day when they find freedom to use it for the glory of God and the furthering of His Kingdom. Lisa is a recovering striver, lover of simplicity and thrift store junkie. She often has to convince people she’s an introvert. Just a loud one.