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Time to Plant - A Devotion

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Galatians 6:7-9 (NLT)
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

After a long day of consultation at the hospital, it has been determined that the best course of action in our battle against the cancer that insists on attacking our son is a bone marrow transplant. The consultation took around three hours as the doctor poured over endless notes and information from various trials and studies looking for those individuals whose stories closely resembled our son. The truth is his story is unique. There are few documented cases of this type of cancer in young men with no prior history that would indicate such a progression. He does not fit in the box. I believe the world is constantly trying to group unique individuals in clusters and boxes to find a common thread other than creation but less I digress. It is one thing to trust God to save your child’s life when his body is under the attack of a life-threatening disease. You must do whatever it takes to cure him and therefore trust God placing all faith in Him as He becomes your only hope. But it is quite another to step out on faith when your son is thriving with no evidence of disease in his body. The doctors have now determined that this particular cancer is the result of mononucleosis or the Epstein-Barr virus. A common illness that many will contract this year whose immune system will readily attack and remove. Our son responds well to chemotherapy and tolerates it by the Grace of God in ways many doctors have deemed impossible. However, each recurrence has come more rapidly and more intense. The doctor fears that each time the cancer goes into dormancy it gains strength and will one day be resistant – so here we are on the verge of the unthinkable. Now comes the point in time when faith is not forced. It is time to pay forward our trust in the Lord without any guarantee from the medical team of remission or even survival. It is time to plant seeds of faith. It is time to plant seeds of righteousness. It is time to plant in the Kingdom of God. The Lord has been clear that you will always harvest what you plant. My sinful nature wants to run from this challenge, bury my head in the sand, and pass the cup along to someone else. But the buck stops here. Talking to my son after the long visit that would begin yet another journey of faith on his way to victory, I told him that we would not give up but press on for the Promise of God. He said, “I didn’t know giving up was ever an option!” I love that kid.

Genesis 8:21-22 (NLT)
And the LORD was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

The acceptable sacrifice of Noah pleased the Lord and so He promised to “never again cure the ground” no matter how desperate and depraved the human race was or would become but that as long as the earth remains that there will be planting and harvest in every season. God promised to never again destroy all living things. Judging from the world in which we live, this is probably a good thing. The doctor told us nonchalantly that cancer is present in every human body leading me to the belief that it is all a product of sin. The only cure for sin is Jesus Christ. To seek the advice and care of a good physician is well within my human rights and reasoning. However, to find healing and a complete cure from sin, as well as all other diseases, I must seek the Lord. I need Jesus Christ more today than yesterday. I will need Him more tomorrow than today I am convinced. I must learn to constantly and consistently sow and reap in the Kingdom of God throughout this lifetime and the territory I have been entrusted here.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

God has a purpose for my life and yours as well. As the Lord works in us and through us, He expects some sort of investment…in every season of life. It is irrelevant how we feel or what our circumstances look like, He has compared us to farmers who sow their seed no matter what the weather is like if a harvest is expected. Faith in God and trust in the Lord will never be completely comfortable or easy because it is not our nature to do so. Those who choose to be lazy and decide not to plow the hardness of their heart and plant the Word of God there will not reap the harvest that the Lord has promised. Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food in the harvest. (Proverbs 20:4) Maybe you are thinking (like many other people) that since the Gift of Salvation and Righteousness are free gifts from God that promises are received and blessings discovered the very same way. You will never experience the Promises of God without an investment in the Word tucked away in our heart. Jesus Christ is the Word. The Bible is the written Word. His Spirit confirms that the Promises and Provisions of the New Covenant are our personal inheritance. But that does not negate the cultivation process of sowing and harvesting in our life – but rather empowers it. If we will pay close attention to what we sow into our heart, the harvest of our heart will change and multiply in our life. Too many times after calling on the Name of the Lord to be saved – we tuck away our faith for another time or place and never step through the door of His Grace to receive the rewards hidden away for the righteous. Your faith will not grow until plant and most of the time will dry out without being watered by our tears. Those who put their hand to the plow and look back choosing to return to their old life, sinful nature and darkness of this world are not fit to receive the Kingdom of God available for your use now. (Luke 9:62) What are you waiting for today… it is time to plant!

Isaiah 28:23-26 (NLT)
Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention. Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds—black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—each in its proper way and each in its proper place? The farmer knows just what to do for God has given him understanding.

God has provided everything that we need to produce a harvest of spiritual blessings and divine promises in our life. He has also given us understanding if we choose to use it. God’s Word is His Careful Instruction to His People of how to cultivate all that the Lord has promised for our life. Life represents a process. We are to constantly strive to plant more faith and trust in the Lord to produce more and more confident hope. We are told to plant seeds of righteousness that draw us closer to the Lord. (Hosea 10:12) We are also encouraged to plant seeds of faith that will empower us from glory to glory. (Matthew 17:20-21) We are to plant all of our seed in the Kingdom of Heaven for supernatural harvests! (Matthew 13:31-32) We are in the constant cycle of sowing and reaping. We can waste our time as the lazy man but have no reason to gripe and complain against the Lord when we live in seasonal droughts that consume us as we experience failure to thrive in the Kingdom of God and become weary and overwrought as we work hard with nothing to show for it. Pay close attention…to what Lord? My Word…every word that comes from His Mouth, planted deep in our heart will produce prosperity in our life as our faith grows and hope is renewed day by day! The greatest thing about the Word of God is that it never comes back void. A farmer can plant a handful of seeds in the ground and only a few seedlings may break through the soil. But when we plant just one seed of faith in the Kingdom of God…mountains will move! “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NLT)
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

God told me in the very beginning of this battle that my son will live and not die. I have seen the Goodness and Grace of God overshadow Him every single step of the way with each recurrence followed by amazing grace and healing. Each time cancer knocked – it was knocked out simply by trusting the Lord and waiting for Him to come. I have asked the Lord many times to pass this cup along – but as always He says that His Grace is sufficient for me. I am beginning to believe it. As my mind cries out in suffering, my heart is at peace with the Lord. If my child wanders too close to the edge of Eternity too soon, I know that the same Resurrection Power that brought Jesus out of the grave will bring my son back to life. How do I know? God has given me His Word. I planted it in my heart. It is beginning to grow. Too many times we read verses like 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 and associate it strictly with finances or tangible blessings. I believe God is talking about our faith and trust in this promise. If you give your life including all your faith and trust to Him alone, He loves a cheerful giver! Those who are willingly will plant their life in the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness will thrive in every season and situation. Though they may plant in tears, they will harvest great joy! (Psalm 126:4-6) God sees my desperate heart longing to be closer and crying out for Him to come near. He is clearing out the sin in my life that once separated us, slathering it with grace and coming to my aid. I understand the words of the psalmist who says that “my suffering was good for me!” I have learned some valuable truths through the sowing and reaping process of the last two years. I have discovered that the Lord keeps His Promises. I now believe in areas that were consumed with doubt. I have learned some self-control though admittedly He is still working on me. I now pay close attention to His Word and keep my eyes focused on the Word (Jesus). I know that God is always good! (Psalm 119:65-72) Yes friend, even in suffering God is always good and working good through every detail no matter how bad it seems. So I am able to release my life to the Lord even when it is hard knowing that these seeds of faith will flourish producing a harvest of unspeakable joy in my life. God is working in us and through us to produce a greater harvest! (2 Corinthians 9:10)

James 5:7-8 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

It is a new season in our life. No longer living defensively, it is time to live offensively. Rather than coming to the Altar of God in desperation, we make the decision to trust the Lord freely and thoroughly not because we have to but we have chosen to. Our gift of faith and trust is the result of believing that God is able in all things to accomplish the impossible according to His Word. I would be a liar to say that I am overly enthusiastic about this process. I am investing everything in what I know to be the Truth over the carefully documented lies of the enemy that limit my son’s life and destiny. God has a purpose for his life that will not be ended or cut short by cancer or the devil. I have no confidence in my ability to save him but I have total trust and faith that God’s Word will come to pass in His Life. So today and tomorrow and then next couple of months will be sowing in many tears as the hard, dry ground of my heart is broken in the process of cultivation but I know in the end we will experience the greatest harvest of our life if we are patient in God’s Process. It is indeed time to plant…

James 3:17-18 (NLT)
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Psalm 126:4-6 (NLT)
Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

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