Sowing the Spirit: Thoughts on Election Day

November is election season, and while much media and political energy is geared towards next fall’s presidential race, it is important that good citizens and stewards of liberty do not lose site of what it at stake right now.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the on who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:7-9

Many are battle weary, and so often, the fight can feel like a losing one. Blow after blow seems to be struck against justice and the rule of law, making it easy to wonder weather the seeds sown are bearing fruit at all. The temptation to switch seeds and give in to solutions that promise a prompt harvest, albeit at the expense of principle, can seem more and more alluring.

Communities do this when they seek to surrender rather than fight, hoping that the road of least resistance will lead to a place pragmatic appeasement yielding peace. Pundits testify to this when their findings demonstrate the skyrocketing popularity of the most outrageous candidates; playing off the peoples’ disappointments, such candidates promise to deliver swift gratification. Christians testify to this when discouragement keeps them from engaging the culture, feeling that developing a vibrant, but isolated subculture is a more effective way to build the Kingdom.   Our pleasure, our gratification, our vindication, and our comfort too easily become the goal, and achieving those ends becomes the new cause.

In that moment when union of principle is exchanged for union of purpose, the wrong seeds are sown. We start looking for a quick plan to fix the problem, something to stem the tide, or a strong man to restore security. We deceive ourselves into believing that if we can only find the strong man with the right plan, everything will be all right.

Such thinking yields corruption that leads only to captivity. In his book The Road to Serfdom, Austrian economist F.W. Hayek defines the cause-effect relationship between times of crisis, surrender of liberty for the promise of security, the inevitable failure of that system, the rise of a strong man salvage that system, and the stamping out of individual liberty to maintain the strong man’s system. One can debate precisely where our society is in our journey on this road, but the more prudent question to ask is how we depart from this road.

The answer is simple. Quit seeking the strong man, stop sowing the seed of selfish gain, and start sowing the seed of the Spirit. Sow repentance and surrender to the Spirit, sow eternal truth and principles, sow kindness and self-control, sow justice alongside mercy. Sow alongside fellow laborers who serve the Lord of the harvest, and seek to do this in every sphere of life.

As believers, we are all called to be fellow laborers and ambassadors in Christ. We need to be faithful to get our hands dirty doing the work of the kingdom. Compared to quick, temporal solutions and the political energy spouted off by strong men, it can seem like a path too slow to bear fruit in time to sustain us. However, God’s Word tells us that “in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.” His timing is perfect, and He calls us to serve, to stand for principle, and to sow faithfully, trusting Him to bring the harvest to fruition.

When we serve, we need to humbly serve outside our comfort zone, in faith trusting that when we serve in the darkness, we carry the light with us, thereby illuminating and casting out every shadow. When we stand, we need to stand for truth, even when it is called divisive, and we need to stand, in spite of temporal divisions, with all those who stand for eternal truth. When we vote, we need to seek truth and principle over political purpose; we need to elect steward-statesmen over strong men. We need to be in the world enough that we know where the fallow ground is so that we can break it up and sow life again. This fall, in our communities, we must ask ourselves, where is the fallow ground? Is it the school board, city hall, the state house, community development committee, or a ballot proposal? How do truth and principle apply to the issues at hand? How do we sow seeds of enduring influence and eternal life?

Now is not the time to grow weary. Our republic and so many precious liberties God has entrusted us with are at stake. Sow the spirit, preserve, and trust that God will bless us with a mighty harvest.