I read something in a Bible study I'm working through that struck me. The author shared a story from her experience working in Africa and how she was told that the people often eat the seeds they are given rather than planting them and reaping the harvest for food. The author then applied it to a parallel in our spiritual lives.
It's something I know I've experiences myself at times in my life. I hear a message, read a book, or have a conversation about something and I think it's really good. I agree with it. I declare how important it is. But, it doesn't change anything in my life, because I don't actually apply it to my life. I eat the seed I was given in the message, book, or conversation, rather than planting it in my life to produce a harvest.
But, Scripture talks over and over about the harvest that comes when the time is right. For that harvest to come, we have to plant the seed, not eat it. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I would say that those words of Paul make it pretty clear that the harvest takes time, but it's worth it if we patiently pursue it.
I don't have experience with planting a seed and doing the work required to reap a harvest. I haven't ever grown something on my own. But, what I do know is that doing so takes time and energy. And I know that the same is true in our lives with God's Word. We have to take what we hear or read and apply it to our lives if we want the harvest that comes from God's Word at work within us.
What about you? Are you eating the seed? Or are you reaping the harvest from it?