If you don’t quit, you win. I first heard this phrase when I was sitting around the dining table of some good friends of mine several years ago. Their young son, no older than four, excitedly recited this to me after having learned it from his father. It has become a bit of a catchphrase for their family and has stuck with me ever since. But why has it stuck with me all this time? Why is it so powerful? Well, it’s so powerful because it in the Bible. Let me show you.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 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. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10
See, I told you. If you don’t quit, you win. Or, as the Apostle Paul puts it, you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. If you want to reap a harvest from God, keep sowing – simple. It’s not about finding a new technique or a different means. It’s not about earning the harvest, nor is it about cutting our loses and believing that what we’re living in now is our lot in life. Nope, it’s about persistence: On the other side of persistence lies a harvest of goodness and of life. We might not always know why the harvest takes the time it does to arrive, but that’s not for us to know. What we are meant to know is this, there is a proper time for the harvest and if we keep going and keep sowing, we will see it.
Of course, it can often feel tempting to quit. When we feel like we’ve been consistent in our faith and persistent in our sowing and are still unable to see the coming harvest, we can begin to look at the seed in our hand and start doubting its ability to produce good. But let me tell you, the seed is good. Why do I say that? Well James 1 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadow. Every good thing comes from God, so if you keep sowing goodness, you are sowing God’s seed, which never fails to produce the intended harvest. If you are not yet reaping a harvest, look at the seed in your hand and ask yourself ‘is what I’m sowing from God?’ If yes, then keep on sowing, the seed is good, and it will produce that which God has planned it to produce (See Isaiah 55:10-11 for further encouragement)!
But let’s dive just a little deeper because I believe there is something greater God wants to teach us today. Humans are, by nature, seed-sowers. Paul, in Galatians 6, tells us that whatever a man sows, that’s what he will reap. Whatever a man sows he will reap. Sowing and reaping doesn’t just go for good things but for bad things too. Paul goes on to say that if a man sows to the flesh he will ultimately reap destruction. You and I are sowers, but what we sow is up to us. We must understand that if we aren’t intentionally sowing to the Spirit, we are inadvertently sowing to the flesh. Why? Because God, in His kindness, has given us the opportunity to reap eternal life, but if we are to receive the harvest, we must sow the seed. God has given us a part to play by giving us good seed. We must be the ones to sow it.
So how do we make sure we are sowers of good. How do we not get weary in doing good? Well, I want to encourage us to sow into three specific areas. The first is our thoughts: Romans 12 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our thought life is fundamental in seeing the harvest of all God has for us and this world. In a recent blog article, James Aubrey quoted AW Tozer as saying that ‘what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ Our thoughts will impact every other part of our lives. So how do we sow good into this area of life? We do so by sowing the truth of God. John 8:32 says that freedom comes through knowing the truth. If we want to experience the freedom of God in our thoughts, we must get the Word of God in there. Read Scripture, study it, memorise it, keep it before you and think on it. It doesn’t have to be huge portions, nor do you need to understand the Greek and Hebrew for it to have an impact. Just let the word get into your thoughts and into your heart. It will transform you and you will reap a harvest in your mind.
The second area I want to encourage you to sow into is your speech: Colossians 4:6 tells us to let our speech always be full of grace. This tells us something important. We have the choice of how we speak. I can choose to speak with grace, kindness and mercy, or I can choose not to, instead allowing my words to carry gossip, hate and negativity. But if we want to continue to sow good seed for a good harvest, good words are significant. Let’s be people who allow our words to be full of good seed, for our own benefit but also for the benefit of those around us. After all, on the day of judgement we will either be justified or condemned by what we have said! (Matthew 12:36-37)
Lastly, I want to encourage us to sow the good seed of obedience through your actions: In the story of the man who built his house in the rock found in Matthew 7 we are taught that whoever hears the words of Jesus and does them will be like that man. No storm of life could cause his house to fall. Likewise, it’s though the obedience of our actions that we can build our lives upon an immovable, unshakable rock – God. But more than this, it is the seeds of our obedience to the Holy Spirit that we will see his Kingdom advance on this earth.
So, no matter what harvest you are looking to God for, whether it is a harvest of healing, salvation, provision, or peace, don’t get weary. Keep sowing in your thoughts, keep sowing in your words and keep sowing in your actions. If you do this, you will reap. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about persistence. So don’t quit because if you don’t, you will win.