Natural laws do not always translate directly into spiritual laws. The law of sowing and reaping is a natural illustration of the spiritual law of action and reaction. The writers of the Bible often used natural laws to illustrate spiritual principles to people. Jesus used parables to illustrate spiritual truth to a people that were “dull of hearing” in hopes that the natural examples might open them up to see the spiritual truths.
As an example, divine healing is applicable to mankind. God does not need healing nor does He believe for divine health as there is no sickness and disease in heaven. God is life and light and there is no darkness in Him at all. Healing is the principle of life being applied to the human need of relief from sickness and disease. There is a definite spiritual aspect of healing and it is the law of the Spirit of life manifesting in the natural bodies of humans. Paul said:
Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
There is healing in that scripture for mankind. The Spiritual law of life makes us free (or heals us) from the law of sin and death. There is no sin and death in heaven. While sin and death are spiritual, the effect of them on the human produce sickness and disease. So, we can see that the law of healing is not a direct translation of the law of the Spirit of life - it’s an application of the law as applied to man’s need.
The natural law of sowing and reaping is an application of the spiritual law of action and reaction as it applies to the needs of mankind. The natural law of sowing and reaping is governed by the spiritual law of action and reaction. This truth becomes critical when interpreting the Word of God because the natural law of sowing and reaping is often used to illustrate the spiritual law of action and reaction. Because of this, not everything about the law of sowing and reaping applies in a direct fashion.
In the law of action and reaction, what is sown is not always what is reaped. However, every action will cause a reaction. Paul said to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 9:11 “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”
Notice that Paul was sowing spiritual things but he did not expect to reap spiritual things. What he was sowing is not what he expected to reap. If the natural laws of sowing and reaping were adhered to, Paul could only expect to reap spiritual things from them because his seed sown was spiritual. Paul is using terminology associated with natural examples to communicate the spiritual law of action and reaction. Paul’s action was preaching and teaching the Word of God to them but he expected to reap their monetary support as the reaction or response.
You can see that if we interpret the terminology of the natural law of sowing and reaping in a literal fashion we will then misinterpret what is being said. However, people do this all the time. Often, it is said that you must sow money to reap money and they use the natural law of sowing and reaping to prove their position. However, Paul expected to reap money without sowing money. Paul did expect to reap because he had sown - and that is based upon the spiritual law of action and reaction.
The abuse of the saints using misinterpreted scripture is overwhelming. I prefer to think that many do so unintentionally as they follow what has been accepted as doctrine. It is very easy to misinterpret scripture by not understanding spiritual law and natural law.
When it comes to the subject of money, there is no doubt that the saints need to finance the Gospel in every way.
They need to tithe and give, and at times, sacrifice in giving. They also need to stretch themselves in their giving more than they do. There are many promises to the believer as to what God will do as we submit and obey Him with our finances. There is no question that God’s will is the prosperity of His people. But, our financial lives are governed not by the natural law of sowing and reaping but by the spiritual law of action and reaction.
A few examples.
Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:7-12.
Did not ask for wealth, released no faith for finances, and sowed no seed for a financial return. Yet, God made him the wealthiest man on earth.
Solomon’s seed sown was a desire for and request for wisdom to lead God’s people. Solomon’s harvest was the wisdom he asked for and extreme wealth. What was sown is not only what was reaped. That’s the spiritual law of action and reaction.
Abram in Genesis 12:1-4; 13:2.
Did not ask for wealth, released no faith for wealth and sowed no seed for financial return. Yet, God made Abram very rich in cattle, silver and gold.
Abram’s seed was his obedience. He left his home and family to become the vessel through which God would bless all the families of the earth.
Israel in Deuteronomy 8:1-18.
Israel did not ask for wealth, released no faith for wealth, and sowed no seed for a financial return. Yet, God gave them a land flowing with everything they needed to live a prosperous life. God was warning them about the extreme wealth that was coming which proves that they had done nothing to directly produce the wealth.
Israel’s seed sown was their obedience to the commandments of God but they reaped a prosperous home land.
There are other scriptural examples of the spiritual law of action and reaction.
Colossians 3:23–25 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Every action we take, whether it be a physical action or an action with our words, will produce a reaction - or better yet, a response. Some of the response we experience will be in this life on earth and some will be when we enter heaven.
If you interpret literally the natural law of sowing and reaping you would have to view these things as follows:
- If you cuss someone out, then you will be cussed out in heaven.
- If you slap your momma, then you will be slapped in heaven.
- If you give someone a car, you will be given a car in heaven.
- If you give someone a new suit, you will be given a new suit in heaven.
Those examples are totally ridiculous!
We will not be cussed out or slapped in heaven but we will receive for both the good and bad which we have done while on earth. What is received in heaven for the good and the bad done is not stated here. As ridiculous as these examples are, why then do we interpret literally the natural law of sowing and reaping when it comes to finances? I suggest it’s because it is convenient for the one receiving the money.
In the spiritual law of action and reaction (or response) there will be a reaction to every action we take but the reaction is not limited to the specific action we have taken.