Choosing Where To Plant
By: Kristen L. McNulty
Reprint rights available on request. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes the things you pour the most into yield the least results?
Maybe you've worked really hard with your involvement in a ministry, but time and time again your efforts come up empty. Or maybe you've spent a lot of time and energy investing into a friendship only to find it to be a dysfunctional relationship over and over again. When this happens it's easy to question ourselves and our efforts, but sometimes the answer doesn't lie in what we're doing but rather in what we're choosing to invest in.
The Bible teaches us in Galations 6 that we reap what we sow. Meaning that what we get out of something relates to what we put into it. But the Bible also teaches us another very important principle that is easy to overlook. And that is not every place is a wise place for us to be investing ourselves in.
We find this truth spelled out in the parable Jesus told about the farmer in Luke 8. Allow me to summarize it for you. The farmer goes out into his field and starts scattering seed. Some of the seed falls onto a path where it gets stepped on by people and some birds come and eat it. Some seed falls into shallow soil with underlying rock. Here the seeds start to grow, but because of the rock they wither and die. Other seeds fall among thorns that stop them from growing. And then some of the seed falls on fertile soil. These seeds grow and produce a crop one hundred times as much as the farmer had planted.
In that one field there were many places to plant, but only one spot resulted in the seeds growing and the farmers efforts being multiplied.
The same goes for our lives. If you really want to see God use what you give and see it multiplied for His kingdom, then you need to really pray and seek out His wisdom when it comes to choosing where you're going to be planting. The truth is there are many ministry opportunities out there where we can serve, but not every one of those opportunities is right for us. There are plenty of people in the church we can connect with and spend time with, but not every one of those relationships are necessarily going to be healthy and life-giving for both us and the other person.
That's not an excuse to decide to do nothing when it comes to investing ourselves in other people and projects, but it is a reminder that we really need to seek out God's guidance when we choose where we plant ourselves throughout our lives. Allow me to close with some good advice from the book of Proverbs:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heard, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths."
God knows where the best place is for you to plant and He will reveal it to you when you seek His wisdom and guidance instead of relying on your own.
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