Willfully Sow Godly Character

Another central component to sowing to please our sinful nature or our godly nature is whether we approach life with thought and will for using our godly character or the character of the sinful nature.  Our character, which is the basis of who we are, will lead to corresponding actions.  From that character we will “reap what we sow.”

Paul presents some of the harsher characteristics of the sinful nature’s character in Galatians 5:19-21;

 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

The godly nature, which has Christ Jesus at its core, and which is guided by the Holy Spirit, grows different fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

The godly nature and the sinful nature struggle against each other.  Galatians 5:17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Think of our character as being two dogs – as Paul wrote, They are in conflict with each other…  These two dogs do not like each other.  They will fight.  They will try to gain control over the other.   Which “hound of your heart” has most control?  Which “hound of your heart” do you release to deal with others around you?

First, there is the junk yard dog in us, the sinful nature (see Galatians 5:19-21 for worse characteristics). That animal is untrained, scrounging for food.  Yes, it does what it wants to, but its life is that of anger and viciousness and mostly thoughts of self.  If we feed this dog the most, if we turn this dog loose in our life to deal with others, the harvest we have will be a junk yard dog harvest.

Second, there is the working dog, our godly nature which is encouraged by the Holy Spirit and based upon faith in Jesus as Savior (see Galatians 5:22-23).  This hound is trained and gets ongoing, better training in righteousness through the Word.  This dog is active and happy.  Food of the Word and Gospel are sought out and provided on a regular basis.  This dog is also free but has self-control which rises from love of Christ and our neighbor.  Feed this dog best and turn this dog loose to interact with people around us and the Lord will bless our harvest.

By our actions and by our character we are “planting the seed” of our life – we are feeding and turning loose the “dog in our heart.”  Which seed do you want to sow as a child of God? Which dog do you want to feed and turn loose in your life?  Which of those dogs are you feeding today, this week?  Which of those dogs do we turn loose to interact with people around us?

With Christ as Savior and the Will of God active in our lives we will want to sow with godly seed and feed the “good dog of our heart” with the Word.

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, … (Hosea 10:12a).

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