Don’t Like Sweet Potatoes? Don’t Plant Them

Through the years I’ve noticed something when my wife plants sweet potatoes in our garden. Amazingly, corn doesn’t grow. Sweet potatoes do. (Brilliant, I know.) You’ll enjoy this scene from Secondhand Lions.

God has set up a system in the natural realm that works with remarkable consistency: you plant corn, you reap corn—not sweet potatoes. And vice versa.

This is true not only in gardening but with regard to every part of our lives.

Plant Whatever You Want

Have you ever seen the selection of seeds at the nursery? Good grief—we’re talking dozens and dozens of different kinds of seeds. Herbs, flowers, and vegetables you never even knew existed hide in seeds ready to pop when planted.

Whatever you want to plant, you can

(Photo: By ParentingPatch. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

This wide selection of seeds also represents our variety of choices in life. I like that Paul wrote “whatever” as he put it this way:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. —Galatians 6:7

We deceive ourselves when we think we can plant one thing and reap another. In other words, we kid ourselves if we think our lives will somehow turn out one way when we live our lives another way.

Moreover, that outlook mocks the system God set up. The word for “mock” is a similar word used of those who mocked Jesus on the cross. It literally means: “to turn up your nose.” Nobody turns up his or her nose at God. Why? We can’t get around the simple law of natural consequences God has set up.

But this is actually good news.

You Have a Choice What You Reap

What are you hungry for? What do you want to reap? How do you want your life to end up?

Maybe you could make statements similar to these:

  • I want to be a woman of the Word.
  • I want to have a close relationship with my children.
  • I want to lose weight.
  • I want to be a man of prayer.

These and many other passions represent a wonderful harvest. You can accomplish them all. But you must plant the seeds that sprout these results by taking the steps they require.

Of course, there are droughts, insects, and other variables that can affect your harvest. But don’t get distracted by what you can’t control. That’s not the point of the verses.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. —Galatians 6:8

We can plant rows and rows of seeds. We can label the rows with different signs—okra, tomatoes, spinach, etc. But if we only plant corn, that’s all we get. The difference comes in the planting, not in the labeling or the wishing of what we want to grow.

Even praying won’t change the process God set up.

To reap corn, you plant corn

(Photo: By Lars Plougmann. Originally posted to Flickr as In the corn field. CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Literally the text reads: “the one who continually sows.” We’re talking about a way of life here. We live our lives one way or the other.

If we stubbornly persist in serving self, our selfishness brings about its own consequences. Notice in this verse, when we serve your own flesh, we will reap corruption from yourself! The source of corruption is the very flesh we’re serving.

Don’t Like Sweet Potatoes? Don’t Plant Them

If you don’t like sweet potatoes (and I don’t—especially yams), then don’t plant them. But we will have to eat what you plant.

Might as well plant eternal life.

Eternal life is not just life after you die, but it can start today and continue through this life into the next. Enjoying the satisfying benefits of eternal life from sowing to the Spirit.

A vibrant spiritual life is a decision, not an accident. (Tweet that.)

We must purpose to plant the things we want to grow in your life. It’s not going to happen on its own. It’s simple cause and effect.

What we want to reap tomorrow, that we must plant today.

Tell me what you think: What do you want to reap in your life? To leave a comment, just click here.

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