3 min. to read.
Some treat spiritual growth like the lottery.
They pay their ticket price in church attendance and tithing, and cross their fingers hoping that one of these days the Holy Spirit will draw their number.
Life change will pour down on them, washing away their struggles and weakness. They’ll be left with a whole new life, overflowing with faith, patience, and a never-flagging sense of confidence.
But spiritual growth isn’t a lottery; it’s a harvest. Harvests aren’t so simple, and they involve considerably more work. That work is a partnership between the farmer and God.
A Hard Working Partnership
The farmer works hard for the harvest. She gets up before the sun. She plants the seeds. She keeps back the weeds, spreads the fertilizer, chases the birds away. When the harvest comes, she gathers it all in.
In one sense you could say the farmer has earned the harvest on the back of hard work, but nothing the farmer does would matter if it weren’t for God.
God designed the life-process taking place within the seed and provides the energy that causes those crops to grow. God sends the weather and provides the sun. Even the strength of the farmer’s work comes because God has given the farmer one more day. So, in another sense, you could say that the harvest is entirely a gift of grace.
The farmer could invest the same effort, but if she works out of alignment with what God has created and provides, there will be no harvest—at least for her. So you could say that the harvest is entirely dependent on God’s power.
God’s gracious gift of life, and sun, and air continues day after day, but if the farmer isn’t there to do the work, there will be no harvest. So, in another sense, you could say that the harvest is entirely dependent on the farmer’s effort.
This is the truth of spiritual growth. Our transformation is entirely God’s sovereign work that requires our entire effort and attention.
So, if you’re waiting for your spiritual lottery ticket to pay off, you are wasting your time. But if you’re willing to tend the fields of your heart and mind, God is already pouring out the grace necessary for your life to change.