What does it mean to sow to the Spirit?
To sow in the Spirit is to take actions in your personal life that grows you spiritually. It is a daily consistent choice to do things that cause your mind to be focused on God and not on the things of the world.
The apostle Paul just got done explaining in chapter 5, that we are to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16), and that if we do this we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but we will bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).
In the natural, if we want fruit, like an apple, do we not need to first sow an apple tree seed before we can access this fruit? Of course! No one would disagree with that.
Well, Paul is making the same point here. If we want to bear the fruit of the Spirit we have to walk in the Spirit. We need to sow to the Spirit. Bearing fruit in the natural is the same way in the spiritual.
So how do we do this? What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? The apostle Paul reveals this in Romans chapter 8.
“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. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6)
So if we want to sow to the Spirit then we need to do things that keep our minds focused on the things of the Spirit. [Related article: What does it mean to Walk/Live in the Spirit? (Explained)].
Every time we have a thought that goes toward the flesh, we just sowed to the flesh. In the same way, every time we have a thought go toward the Spirit, we just sowed to the Spirit and we will reap accordingly in due time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sowing to the Spirit also refers to giving finances to ministers and to those in need.
The exhortation to sow to the Spirit is in the context of Paul saying, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” (Galatians 6:6)
I know that it is subtle but the “share in all good things” is referring to meeting their physical needs.
Paul used similar language in multiple places throughout scripture.
“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18)
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
In Galatians 6:6-8, Paul was applying the same principle of sowing and reaping to our spiritual growth as well as our financial growth when we give.
How to sow to the Spirit
As mentioned in the section above, sowing to the Spirit is to do things that cause us to set our minds on the things of the Spirit. So what actions can we take to accomplish this? [Realted article: How to Walk/Live in the Spirit (Complete Guide)].
Read the word of God
Personally, I believe that reading the word of God is the best way that anyone can sow to the Spirit. The Bible is the literal word of God. It is THE spiritual book. Every truth in the Bible either applies to the spirit, the physical, or both.
Jesus said, “the words I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).
The apostle Paul said that we should take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
The word of God and the Spirit of God are One and they agree with one another at all times. So, if we want to reap the things of the Spirit and bear fruit for our King then we cannot neglect the word of God. It should be our highest priority.
Spend time in prayer & worship
Spending time in communion with God and making it a priority to worship Him is of course sowing to the Spirit. When we do this we are drawing nearer to God and growing in our relationship with Him. And the Bible promises that as we do this the Holy Spirit comes to transform us (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Walk in love
Love is not only the fruit of the Spirit, but it can also be the way that we chose to sow. Right before Paul said, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) he exhorted us to walk in love.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
So when we are abiding in love, we will abide in God, for God is love (1 John 4:16).
Guard what you see, hear, and think on
We can spend hours with God every day, but if we are spending an equal to a greater amount of time watching, listening, and partaking in the junk that the world offers that means we are sowing more to the flesh than we are the Spirit. In other words, we will be reaping the lusts of the flesh more than the fruit of the Spirit.
As mentioned previously, the context of sowing to the Spirit was immediately after Paul mentioned that we share with those who teach the word. This means that sowing to the Spirit also has a lot to do with giving to ministers and to those in need.
So when we give with a cheerful and loving heart, we place God over our finances, and not only do we walk in love to the person that we gave to but we also just revealed to God that we place a higher value on investing in His Kingdom than our pocketbook.
Benefits of sowing to the Spirit
- We will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
- We will have a long life and see good days (1 Peter 3:10).
- We will be transformed into the Image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18 & Romans 12:1-2).
- Every need of ours will be supplied (Phillipian 4:19)
- Our prayers will be answered (John 15:7)
- + all the benefits found in Psalm 91 (Related article: Dwelling in the Secret Place: What it is & How to do it)
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