Updated: Feb 16
Many years ago I heard a preacher say, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” The bible calls that “reaping what you sow.” Simply put, if you sow carrot seeds you shouldn’t expect to harvest anything but carrots.
As a spiritual counselor I run into this problem all the time, people who sow sinful seeds and expect to harvest God’s blessings, and they don’t understand why they’re not. Let’s use the example of a Christian man and woman living together before marriage. They experience a rocky, shaky time in their relationship. They love each other and want to make their relationship work, so they go to a counselor to receive Godly direction on how to work through their issues so as to better equip them to live together “as one”. As much as they try, as much as they hope, as much as they pray, as much as they seek Godly advice, they do not understand that God simply is not going to bless their relationship while they are living in sin. In fact, he is not beyond “stirring up their nest” to make them really uncomfortable in order to open their eyes. (He has been known to shipwreck people before in order to get their attention.)
Reading through Jeremiah I see a pattern. God used the prophet Jeremiah to warn his people over and over again. Jeremiah didn’t mince any words either, he told them exactly what the Lord said to tell them. All through the book you see him telling the people that God said he would destroy them if they didn’t repent. In chapter seven, employing Jeremiah, God tells his people, “If you amend your ways and your doings (and he gives them a specific list of things he wants them to stop doing), then I will cause you to dwell in the land I gave your fathers.”
Eventually, because they didn’t want to change, the people got sick and tired of Jeremiah’s gloom and doom messages. They wanted him dead. They slapped him around a little bit and threw him in jail. Not a lot of fun for Jeremiah. But…
think about how very much God loves his people
to warn them over and over and over again! What kind of father doesn’t give his child at least one chance? Generally, a father warns his child, telling him, “if you do that again then you can expect this consequence. But God loves us with an everlasting love. His love is long-suffering and he is slow to anger. He gives us far more than one chance!
However, we must understand that God is a just God, and being thus, he must judge sin. We are told all throughout the bible that there is no sin in him. Since the word of a King cannot be changed, and He can not go against his own nature, He has to judge sin.
Let’s go back now, to “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” Before Jesus began his ministry, God sent another important messenger. Not Jeremiah this time. This time it was John the Baptist. A different man, a different time, but the same message. Repent. John told the people of his time the same thing Jeremiah did, “Hey look, if you keep doing ‘this’ then God says you’re going to get ‘that.'” It is still the law of sowing and reaping.
God doesn’t change
His word doesn’t change. His principles don’t change. His laws don’t change. Furthermore, none of those things need to change. What needs to change is us! If we are living in a way that is displeasing to God, in a way that goes against his Godly laws and principles, we can not expect or hope that He will bless us. We must turn from our ways and turn to His. Otherwise, we are literally writing our own death sentence.
May the grace (the power of God to do what we can’t do) of God be with us all.