Help in the Harvest

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Galatians 6:9 NKJV
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
The title of my message is, [Help in the Harvest].
Today is the first day of our twenty-one day fast. I have a message from the Lord that I believe will help us as we commit the rest of this month to seeking God.
I have thought long and hard about 2022. I asked the Lord to give me an encouraging word, one that will help us.
In the past, we have kicked off our fast with messages about victory, faith, and hope for the New Year. While I still pray for those promises for our lives, we live in a very different world than in the past.
The word God has laid on my heart for today is weary. We read it in our text. Weary is defined, “feeling or showing tiredness, being worn out, exhausted, or disoriented.”
I feel in my spirit as I pray for our congregation that many are facing weary situations in life.
It could be weariness over the division in our nation
It could be weariness over prolonged sickness
It could be weariness over the many differing opinions
It could be weariness over a family situation
We must remember, weariness is not a sin. Jesus faced weariness:
John 4:6 NKJV
6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
The Apostle Paul understood weariness
2 Corinthians 11:25–27 NKJV
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
Those in Scripture understood the weariness that comes with life. However, it seems to have accelerated in our day. Seeing the world the way it is, it would be easy to become weary.
That is why there are three passages in the New Testament that deals with weariness.
We already read our text to the Galatians churches. But Paul also encouraged:
2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
The writer of Hebrews explained:
Hebrews 12:3 NKJV
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
So my message is clear, let’s not grow weary. When we become physically weary or tired we develop bad habits that will create negative effects on our health.
Likewise, becoming spiritually weary can create poor spiritual habits that negatively effect our walk with God.
How then do we overcome weariness?
Paul focused on becoming weary in the context of sowing and reaping. He used gardening as a metaphor for the Christian life. He believed that God’s people will reap a harvest.
As an experienced gardener, I have learned how hard it is to produce a harvest. It is work. It can be tiring. I feel weary when we weed the garden only to have to turn around and do it again.
But I want us to think of a few facts about gardening:
we sow and reap in like kind, meaning, if we sow green beans we will not reap asparagus. We get what we plant.
we reap in a different season than we sow. It takes a while to go out there and pick that first mess of green beans or the first ripe tomato.
we reap more than we sow. I remember our first year we had a garden I thought we should have one more zucchini plant in case we did not have enough zucchini.
As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual.
Galatians 6:7 NKJV
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Let’s think of our fast.
We reap what we sow. We’re sacrificing something important to us, so that we might receiving something from God.
What we do right now for God will have results at a later day. Our fast will help us throughout the year.
We will receive more from God than we give because He is so much greater than us!
I thoroughly believe God has a harvest for us this year. He has something for us both personally and corporately.
The enemy knows this, which is why he longs for God’s people to grow weary. So this morning, I believe that God has help for us in this harvest.
He has something great for all of His people. The principle is this— EVERYONE will have a harvest. What they produce will depend on where and how they sow.
We have an opportunity this year. We can sow and invest in ourselves or we can sow and invest in the Spirit. HOW we sow and WHAT we sow will determine HOW and WHAT we reap.
So let’s look at Paul’s words to the Galatians with two points, [Sow into Our Self] or [Sow into the Spirit].
1. Sow into Our Self
Galatians 6:7–8 NKJV
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Notice the word flesh, which signifies humanity. We are unlike God, who is everywhere at once, knowing everything at once, and possessing all power at once.
We are confined to this body, made of flesh. Paul speaks of sowing to the flesh. He does not literally mean the flesh that is attached to our tendons or bones.
Instead, he is equating flesh with self. The flesh is not necessarily sinful, but the flesh is weak. When the flesh grows weak, people often succumb to sin.
Galatians 6:8 (NLT)
8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature...
What is the fleshly nature?
What is the sin nature?
Paul already explained that.
Galatians 5:19–21 NKJV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
We can divide these works of the flesh into four categories:
sexual sin— lust, adultery, prostitution, or pornography
religious sin— idol worship, astrology, superstition
relational sin— gossip, unforgiveness, bitterness, taking revenge
personal sin— abusing ourselves, substances, drinking
I realize not everyone struggles with every one of these works of the flesh. Furthermore this is not an entire list. Instead, Paul gives an overview of the various ways people struggle and face temptation.
Now, Paul moves forward with a warning, when we sow into the flesh. When we give into our desires above God’s word, we will reap a harvest.
We reap what we sow. Whenever we invest our time, talent, and resources into any of these works of the flesh we will eventually reap, at a later date, problems and distance from God.
As I read Paul’s list, I thought, how fitting. What they faced in the Galatians churches is very similar to what our society endures.
Though that list may seem a little heavy, every work of the flesh begins when people begin to give into THEIR wants and desires about what GOD wants for their lives.
God knew the nature of people, and their inclination to gravitate toward sowing into self. That is why He sent Jesus.
Romans 8:3 NKJV
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
Jesus came in human form to identify with our human weakness. Jesus knew what is was like to grow weary. The enemy tempted him to give into the flesh. But He overcame.
How then do we know if we are sowing into our self more than we are sowing into the God?
Let’s align our lives with the life of Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
As followers of Christ, we who live this life of faith in God, have to ask ourselves, is my flesh weak? Do I want MY ways above God’s ways?
If God is not our priority then we are sowing to ourselves, investing in our lives. It may seem good for a while, but be not deceived, God is not mocked, what we sow we WILL reap.
What is the remedy for sowing into self? I do not want to reap the harvest of giving into the sin nature. That is why we must...
2. Sow into the Spirit
Galatians 6:8 NKJV
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
I began this message with the bad news. Sowing into self will cause us to reap corruption. But we can sow into the Spirit. When we invest time with the Spirit, we will reap fruit that will grow into everlasting life.
It is easy to give into our selfish desires. Our nature teaches us to give into the needs of the flesh. Sowing in the Spirit is much harder.
In fact, it is almost impossible to refuse the temptations to focus on self on our own. That is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Notice, Paul encouraged us to sow in the Spirit. How do we do that?
We need to invite the Holy Spirit to help us, lead us, and guide us. When we do so, we position ourselves for supernatural help.
Remember, the Holy Spirit is God at work in the church today. The Father is in heaven, the Son is seated at His right hand.
Therefore, when we begin to pray, praise, worship, or spend time with God, it is the HOLY SPIRIT who is active and at work in and through us.
Romans 8:5 NKJV
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
We’ve looked at the flesh, but what about the Spirit?
What are the results of sowing into the Spirit?
Paul outlines them in the Fruit oF the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22–25 NKJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
God will give us:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart,
and strength of spirit.
This is the HARVEST of those who take time to sow in the Spirit.
How do we sow in the Spirit?
Let’s look at the life of Jesus. God in Flesh modeled how we should live:
Jesus Fasted—
Matthew 4:2 NKJV
2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Jesus prayed—
Matthew 14:23 NKJV
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
Jesus praised and worshipped—
Matthew 26:30 NKJV
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus took time to sow into His into the Spirit. And it worked. God helped Jesus FulFIll His assignment on earth. God gave Him the necessary:
and help
to do all God wanted Him to do.
Jesus did all He did to serve as a model to show us how to live.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
How then should we live?
Our lives should model Christ’s life. Though we live in the Flesh, He lives within us and we have Faith that He will help us and strengthen us. Enabling us to REAP a good harvest.
We will reap what we sow. We will gather a harvest. How the harvest looks depends on how we sow.
We can sow into the Flesh, but that is easy. Anyone can place themselves above God. Anyone can put their wants above God’s plan for their lives.
So the Focus of my message is less on the works of the Flesh, but on the needs of the Spirit.
Because the Spirit helps us when our Flesh is weak. He comes along side of us when we do not know what do. He strengthens us when we begin to feel weary.
Galatians 6:9 NKJV
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
So God wants us to hear this morning, we have to keep doing what is good and what is right.
We cannot give into the flesh and submit to its desires. We have to realize, we’ve been called out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light.
He has great plans For us. But it is up to us.
How will we spend our time?
Where we will we place our resources?
What will keep our attention?
We must overcome the temptation to focus on this life. Remember the words of Jesus:
Matthew 6:19–21 NKJV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We’ve concluded a year of prayer. We are now beginning an extended fast. Our church is dedicated to focusing on God.
But my question today is this— who is weary? who feels tired?
I have talked to other pastors about their churches. Many of us feel the same way, it is a weary time.
People are weary of Covid
Weary of other sickness
Weary of family circumstances
Weary of division
Weary of various opinions
And when we get weary and tired, the enemy slips in when the flesh is weak and tempts us. He tries to get us to sow into self. He whispers lies:
take care of you
put yourself first
you’ve tried praying
your’ve fasted before
He longs for us to divert our attention from God and place it on our self. Why? Because he knows we will reap what we sow.
But God wants to help us. He wants to assist us in the weariness of life. He wants to help us continue to good, for every good and perfect gift is from us.
I can promise you— WE WILL REAP A HARVEST. We will produce what we sow.
We sow and reap in like kind— sow in the flesh, reap the flesh, sow in the Spirit, and reap the Spirit.
We reap in a different season than we sow— let us not deceive ourselves that what we do today will not affect tomorrow.
We reap more than we sow— time spend in prayer and fasting will bring great rewards. Likewise, time spent away from God, will bring great heartache.
I want to encourage those who feel weary and tired, the Holy Spirit is here to help. He will lead us through to receiving a great harvest!
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