THE SEEDS OF DESTINY
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It is a fact that life operates on the principle of seedtime and harvest. Oftentimes we do not realize this and we are labouring to reap where we have not sown or what we did not sow, or we are doing the work of harvest during the time of seed and wondering why we are reaping nothing. Many people live as if life responds to their desires; but it does not. They behave as if once they want something they should get it simply because they want it. Their disappointment often leads to anger or depression.
Life’s phases are divided into seedtime and harvest season. Desires do not determine your harvest; only seed does. Wisdom is that we know how to sow the right seeds at the right times if we want certain things in our lives. You will recognize your harvest season because of the ease that characterizes it. When harvest time comes, you will find out that things seem to work easily for you. Yes, there is still work to do during the time of harvest, but this time, a little effort brings in much result. That is what characterizes
harvest season. It is called “the crop permits.”
"The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:28-29 NASB
If your crop does not permit, by which I mean that much effort is bringing in very little for you, there are a number of issues that may be responsible; one very important one I wish to touch on at this time is that you may just not be in the harvest season in that area of your life. You probably did not sow the right seeds during seedtime, or maybe you are still in seedtime.
Seedtime is very crucial, since it is the foundational time and all future events are dependent upon how well we use our seedtime. This is the only time we can influence what we reap; we cannot change our desires later when harvest season comes and start reaping what we did not sow. We can only reap what we sow.
So it is vital that we learn to sow the right seeds in the time appointed for seed sowing.
We must not forget that life is spiritual, and therefore the seeds are spiritual. Many people are deceived into thinking that life is physically determined so that if they sow money they will reap money. No, money is physical and cannot be sown into the mystical or spiritual world in which destinies are determined. Your future which you desire to see will necessarily come out of the invisible realm.
"By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." Heb 11:3-4 NASB
That realm of the unseen creates the things that we will eventually see. Because its very nature is unseen, mystical, and spiritual, it therefore cannot process physical seeds into fruit. All the seeds it recognizes are spiritual. The spiritual seeds we sow will be conveyed through and manifested in physical things, just as the harvest too, which will bring forth physical realities, even though spiritually determined. The confusion in the lives of people is that they are captivated with the physical nature of the seeds, without realizing that it is the spirit inside those seeds that count.
"But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.
"I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things.
"I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be." Jer 17:10 THE MESSAGE
"Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn't contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual." John 6:63 GOD'S WORD Translation
What the word of God is telling us is that it is the hidden part of our actions that really count. It is called ‘the spirit’ of what we do, and it emanates from the hidden man of the heart.
When we speak of ‘seed-sowing’ in today’s Christianity, we must understand that money and gifts in themselves are not recognized in the realm of the spirit; it is the spiritual substance they represent which matters. These spiritual substances include things like love, honor, mercy, a thankful attitude etc. These things must be the basis of the physical seeds for them to bring forth any fruit desirable.
Now that we have introduced the subject, what are the seeds of your destiny therefore as a young man and as a young woman? To answer this I want us to look at the following verses from Psalm 37 carefully.
3 "Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land." Ps 37:3-9 NASB
Let us bring out a few things from here.
1. Trust in the Lord and do good.
Trusting in the Lord, which is what we call faith, is a heart matter; it is an attitude with which we face life. I believe that all things that I desire in life will come to me by God’s arrangement of the events around me. I know that my life is not an accident and not a game of chance. God is in charge of my life. That is what it means to trust in the Lord, and is the spirit of all I do. For this reason I do not need to scheme and connive and be out-smarting people. The outward result of this is that I do good to all.
Every inward trait of the heart has an outward manifestation; if it doesn’t, we are likely to be living in self-deception, claiming to have faith when in actual fact we don’t. Faith in the heart always produces works of faith. Doing good is a major work of faith from the heart that is trusting God.
To do good is easy to understand. It means to be a giver, a lover of people in deeds, a helper. A good man will give up his seat for someone else; he is not a grabber but a giver. Giving is the most important form of good doing. A man who is trusting God is a giver.
There is so much to doing good that I cannot teach on at this time. A good man is not jealous but will want to see other people blessed. He goes out to help someone else get rich. A good man gives honour to whom honour is due; he respects and honours his parents, his elders and ministers of the word of God. He respects spiritual authority.
Trusting in God is the first and most important seed for your destiny. A sign that you are trusting in God now is that you have become one that does good.
2. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
What does it mean to dwell in the land?
We can deduce two things from here. Dwelling in the land refers to staying in one geographical location and realizing that prosperity does not come primarily from a change of geography unless by the word of God. This was described in Ps 75:6 where we read that promotion does not come from east or west. East and west are used to describe surrounding circumstances. To dwell in the land means to realize that “a lizard in Nigeria does not become an alligator in America.” Wherever you are, cultivate faithfulness.
There is another angle to look at this from.
Land here can be seen as a figurative expression. We often use the word ‘field’ to describe someone’s career path and area of expertise. We can therefore see land as your own area of calling, passion, or training. To dwell in the land means to stay where your expertise or calling is, and not to change it just because another man is making it in his own area.
We often think of success in the life of another person as a result of the juiciness of the career chosen; we forget that a blessing is what makes one’s career juicy. Choose your career, knowing that you can succeed anywhere if God is there with you. I have been young, and I may not be old yet, but I have seen a lot of things. I have seen the glories of different professions change. Some became bright, while others became dull. There was a time when being a sportsman in Nigeria was a sign you were not going anywhere. That was before international football and Olympic medals began to make their impacts in the country. I saw when actors and musicians never really became very rich in significant numbers, and I saw when they became millionaires in their numbers. Most in my parents’ generation believed that working for government was the safest thing to do; but that is hardly true anymore. There was a time that being a pastor was a sign of ‘this world is not your home,’ but things are different now. The truth is that professions don’t make people; time and chance happens to them all.
Dwell in your own field and there cultivate faithfulness. Dwell in your own ministry and cultivate faithfulness there.
3. The cultivation of faithfulness.
To cultivate gives me the impression someone is busy. To dwell in the land does not mean to wake up and laze about, claiming to be waiting for the Lord. A man or woman waiting for God is busy doing that which is given to him or her at each point in time. The Lord always supplies us with what will keep us busy. He gives us an opportunity each time to practise diligence, righteousness and blessing someone else’s life with our abilities. Faithfulness is being dependable in what things God has given into your hands.
People oftentimes say there are no jobs; I always say there are always jobs. A job is the opportunity that God gives you to use your ability—gifts and training—to bless the lives of people. That is always available. Plenty money in return may not come quickly, but the opportunity to solve problems for people is hardly hard to find.
While dwelling in the land, cultivate faithfulness. Do not cultivate idleness. Be busy improving your skills, your trustworthiness and reliability, and keep making others rich.
4. Cultivating faithfulness and delighting in the Lord.
There is a link between cultivating faithfulness and delighting in the Lord. One crucial point in the cultivation of faithfulness is in sticking with divine precepts in all that we do. We must insist on the practice of godliness in everything we do. The businessman does not lie or cheat anybody, and the preacher of the word of God must never adulterate the word of God or use it to manipulate people. The laws of God for every business or endeavour must be learned and followed. There is a Christ-like way to do every single thing in life. These principles must be practised in our seedtime until they become part of us.
Remember I mentioned earlier that everything spiritual or in the heart has an outward manifestation. Well, in that light, the only way you can express your delight in the Lord outwardly is by delighting in walking according to His rules and principles of doing things. Here is how the Lord Jesus said it:
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word… John 14:23 NASB
Delighting in the Lord is not the same as delighting to go to church, or dance in church or to ‘work’ for God. To delight in the Lord simply means to enjoy living your life according to the prescription of the scriptures; to enjoy being different as you do what the word of God directs. To obey the word of God is to delight in Him. It is a crucial seed for the destiny of greatness you seek.
5. Commit your way to the Lord.
A prayer habit is a crucial seed for the establishment of destiny. I do not mean to just say prayers, but to have the habit of committing everything to God before you do it. You pray before you make investments; you pray before you hire staff, you pray before you change your job. A prayer habit is a sign of faith; that you recognize that it all comes from Him.
Prayer is not about speaking big ‘scriptural’ words. Prayer is a heart open to God without pretense. It is recognizing that God is a father who is concerned about your welfare. The best example of prayer here is Jabez.
'But Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, "Bless me, God, and give me much land. Be with me and keep me from anything evil that might cause me pain." And God gave him what he prayed for.' 1 Chron 4:10 TEV
How will you like your life to be a testimony that God answers prayers rather than a testimony of human striving, which is vanity?
Remember when you pray, you pray in the name of Jesus. To pray in the name of Jesus is beyond just the mention of the name; it implies that you are not coming because of any merit you have in yourself but because of the mercy shown by the blood of Jesus. It means you realize that you may have made mistakes, but that God is merciful and forgiving. Prayer must be said in the name of Jesus; that is the only confidence we have that we will be heard. Our own works do not give us any ground for prayer before God; only the sacrifice of Jesus does.
So, enter the place of prayer with confidence, and express all your desires to Him; confess all your faults to Him, and confess all your fears. There is an immediate result you will experience, even if the desired result will take time to come, and this is that “the peace of God which passes all understanding will mount guard over your hearts.” You will have a kind of peace and confidence that you will not be able to explain.
6. Be patient, and be patient.
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
"Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
"But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land."
I believe that the water which wets the seeds of destiny that you have sown is patience. We need patience very crucially. Many people start out well but give up because the results do not show up as quickly as they would wish. They are disappointed that someone else is prospering before them. Sometimes they wonder the wisdom in following the way of the Lord as outlined in the seeds above. They fret, and become tempted with wrongdoing. If they begin to get involved in the wrongdoing, they have lost out.
"…but if any of them turns back, I will not be pleased with him." Heb 10:38 TEV
We must be persistent and determined about our faith and the path with God we have chosen. One way to prevent being discouraged is to celebrate the things that really matter. One major reason many are stressed by what appears like delay is that they have not learnt to celebrate the moments. They are labouring for the fruit rather than rejoicing in righteousness. When I say celebrate the moments I mean to celebrate the practice of righteousness. Recollect the story of the early church, how they rejoiced in the fact that they were counted worthy of suffering for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41). They rejoiced in the moment; they counted the temptation as joy. It’s like a Christian business man who loses a contract because he wouldn’t offer a bribe. He is cultivating faithfulness and he rejoices in the denial rather than in the hope of ‘God will soon promote me.’ The very fact that he suffered for righteousness’ sake is his cause for joy. He loves the fact that he is different and has shone for the world to see, even though all it caused him was pain.
The key therefore for enduring with patience is to love righteousness; it is to love the practice of doing right, reward or no reward.
You know, I found that this is the very attitude that makes God bless people. He is not so pleased with those who do righteousness because they think it will bring them good; He wants us to love the very thought of righteousness.
"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness;
"Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee
"With the oil of joy above Thy fellows." Ps 45:7 NASB
When you love righteousness, patience is easy.
Having said all these things, remember, there is a season that is due. God will cause events to arrange themselves to bring you to your enlarged place at the right time. What characterizes harvest season is the ease of results. The same labour as before brings so much more results. That is when you will know that your harvest has come. It is the stage of abundant fruitfulness which is itself the launching pad for multiplication and dominion.