One of my favorite childhood memories is helping my dad with his garden. Each year he would plant potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more. I remember him putting the seeds in the ground and then covering them with dirt. And if those seeds had enough water, we would have wonderful vegetables in a few months.
Since that time, I have spent many years in dry climates where trees, plants, and grass need to be consistently watered, or else they will either die or become less fruitful. There is a powerful spiritual truth revealed as we consider how seeds grow and bear much fruit.
Consider this verse. “I (Paul) planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). This talks about the natural process of how the kingdom advances in a life, family, church, or region.
Planting – Someone has to plant a seed of truth, love, prayer, declaration, prophetic act, or obedience for there to be a future harvest of good things.
Watering – After the seed is planted, it will need to be “watered” by that person or others.
Supernatural increase – As it is watered, “God gives the increase.”
Fruitfulness – Then there is a harvest of salvation, revival, healthy relationships, and freedom.
I (and probably you too) find it more exciting to plant or harvest. I love the thrill of seeing people getting revelation and/or vision which propels them to believe something or do something new. I also rejoice when I see a harvest in lives of provision, fulfillment, breakthrough, miracles, and positive influence on others. But watering takes work! It is less exciting and requires intentionality and faith to believe something is happening when we don’t see anything happening.
What are some of the seeds we are to water in faith?
Truths – “The truth will make you free” (John 8:32). One of the main ways we grow in the Lord is through seeing new things in Scripture we had not seen before.
Identity – We cannot consistently do what we don’t believe we are. The second most important question in life is, “Who do I say I am?” (the first being who do we say Jesus is?). We are not who our past experience says we are, but we are who God says we are.
Skills – “Stir up the gift of God which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:7). It has been said that if we spend 10 minutes a day for ten years doing something or learning about a specific area of life, we will become an expert. This continual repetition is watering our abilities which will bless others and ourselves.
Relationships – Every relationship starts in seed form. Whether they are salvation seeds sown in a life or the deepening of a relationship we have committed to, we can water these through kindness, listening, giving quality time, and many other ways.
How can we water the seeds in our lives and relationships? Here are some important watering techniques from Scripture:
Abiding in the word – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31-32).
Keep believing you have already received – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).
Thanksgiving – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Meditation – “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:2-3).
Being equipped by leaders – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Fellowship with others – “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Good choices in relationships – “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
Faith declarations – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
Keeping our heart soil good – “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).
Water others through generosity (e.g. encouragement) – “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25).
Which of these verses stands out to you? How can you plan to be consistent in it? Who can help you with this?
One final thought. Yard care becomes much easier when we install automatic drip or sprinkler systems. We no longer need to think about it as it automatically happens. We would be wise to set up happenings in our lives that will automatically water the seeds we have. Some ideas for this:
Regular church attendance
Committing to a small group
Have a teaching or worship music playing every time you start your car
Ask God for wisdom on how you can develop the habits for consistent watering to happen in the important things of your life. It will be a game-changer for you.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.