"Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit." (NCV)
What is God saying?
There is a macro system of cause and effect at work in the world around us. We cannot live lives satisfying our sinful desires and think that we can trick God into thinking we've lived differently. It is only by living authentic, Spirit-filled lives that we will receive eternal life.
What is God saying to us today?
We can confuse the macro system of cause and effect for the micro system of "no" ca use and effect. The competing forces of sin and grace are played out in the everyday events of life (micro) and make it seem to us that there isn't a clear system of cause and effect. So, when we see bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to bad people, we might think that we can simply live how we want because God doesn't seem to care about cause and effect. But, God makes it clear that He does ultimately care about cause and effect when it comes to our eternal destinies (macro), which means we can't fool ourselves by thinking that just because we got away with something here or there that we can keep planting seeds of self-centered pleasure. We might be able to eat one or two cheeseburgers without gaining weight (micro), but if that's all we consume, we can't trick our bodies and the pounds are going to start piling on (macro). We harvest what we plant.
What is God inviting us to do?
What kind of harvest do you want to have? God invites us to plant genuine seeds of the Spirit - seeds of love, compassion, joy, gentleness and peace - so that we can reap the harvest of eternal life.