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The Second Law of Increase

What you sow determines what gets increased; but how you sow determines how much increase you can expect. The first law of increase says, “as you sow so shall you reap.” But, the second law of increase says, “how you sow determines how you shall receive.”

To use McArthur’s words: the spirit of your actions multiplies the result.

The Universe acts as a mirror, giving back to you according to your purpose, your sincerity and your willingness. Give a little and you should only expect a little; but, give much and you shall receive accordingly.

The question to keep at the forefront of your mind is this: Have I given my all?

Withhold Nothing

In 1900, Elisha Hoffman wrote a song called “Is Your All on the Altar?” Yolanda Adams sang a version that I absolutely love.

The lyrics articulate the heart of what the second law of increase teaches. Specifically, have you given your very best? Have you done all that you know to do? Is there anything at your disposal that you haven’t used to achieve your desired result? Have you held anything back?

Consider the song’s opening verse: You have longed for sweet peace, and for faith to increase, and have earnestly, fervently prayed; But you cannot have rest, or be perfectly blest, until all on the altar is laid.

How you sow is as important as what you sow. When you hold back from the Universe, the Universe holds back from you. But when you give your all, when you lay it all out until there’s nothing left to give, the Universe responds in kind, returning to you blessings that match the purpose, sincerity and willingness you’ve demonstrated.

Jesus said it this way: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:38). You simply cannot get any plainer than that.

God Gives the Increase

None of us can make the seed grow. That isn’t our job. Increase belongs to God and God alone. This is true along every aspect of existence. For example, a scientist can tell you what to do to turn the acorn into an oak tree, but he cannot tell you anything about how the acorn becomes that oak tree.

Increase is God’s domain.

Our role, in comparison, is much simpler and straightforward: plant the right seed and collect the harvest when the fruit appears. We cannot speed up the germination process nor can we stop it. Once planted, all we can do is wait and stay in position to collect what must come.

You Influence the Amount of Increase

You can count the seeds in an apple but you cannot count the apples in an apple seed. That’s true. But that does not mean that we do not influence the outcome of the seeds planted. We do. And, here’s how:

The spirit of your actions “set the amount of increase that occurs after you plant the seed” (McArthur). You influence the results of the seeds you plant in three key ways (directly quoted from Your Life):

Your Purpose

How clear is your purpose? How definite? Is it in accord with the Creative Forces?

Your Sincerity

Are you lukewarm or really intent and committed to your purpose? Are you free of hypocrisy, deceit, or duplicity regarding your purpose? Is your dedication to it as pure as you can make it?

Your Willingness

Are you using that which you now have available to you? If you are not willing to use what you have (your talents, gifts, ideas, mind, materials), your purpose and sincerity are questionable. Pie-in-the-sky predictions of what you would do “if” are just that.

Because “like begets,” the way you sow seed produces a result that mirrors how you’ve sown. That’s why the song “Is Your All on the Altar?” resonates so much for me with this universal law. I used to think of that song in terms of someone letting go emotionally of a bad situation — i.e. a bad relationship, a debilitating illness, etc.

In light of the second law of increase, I see it much differently. Have you done all that you know to do and given everything you had to give to that which you truly want? If so, then your success is assured by universal law.

Take the Fear Out of Your Purpose

Fear taints your results. It acts like inverted faith because it is faith placed in negative seeds. When we fear, we have essentially turned the things we fear into “little gods” and “unwittingly pray to them” through the action of fear (McArthur).

The other problem with fear is that it tends to cause us to give less than our very best. We do not believe we can have what we really want. So, we do not give all that we have to give. We hold back just enough so that if it doesn’t work out, we won’t be too disappointed. Of course, because we haven’t done our best, we increase the chances that it won’t work out.

Preventative measures taken in a spirit of fear increase the chances that the very thing we do not want to happen will happen. Why? Because our faith has been placed in the thing we do not want rather than the true result we desire.

Saving for a rainy day invites the rainy day. Exercising to avoid illness invites illness. Eating to prevent obesity invites obesity. Whatever you run from chases you and because you have put yourself in relationship to it by placing your fear (inverted faith) in it, it will eventually find you.

Linked With God, We are Limitless

When a farmer sows, he must maintain the soil in which the seed is planted. Sometimes the thing we want seems far bigger than we can personally attain. Let us remember that, by ourselves, we cannot achieve it. But linked with God, “there is no limit to the power available to us” (McArthur).

Paul tells us that we “can do all things through him who strengthens” us (Phil 4:13). Spirit “has no limits and is totally dependable because its nature is to love and care for us” (McArthur).

We scheme when we do not believe we can have what we want. Firmly entrenched in a mentality of lack, we tell half-truths for the purpose of affecting an outcome we do not believe we can get by simply being honest and upfront. The problem with deceit and schemes and duplicity is that the Universe can only mirror what we have given.

The Universe withholds nothing but it does mirror what we’ve given and in the way we’ve given it.

When we truly buy into the idea that we are limitless when we cooperate with God, then we will put aside all games and other contrivances. We will know with clarity that we can have anything and everything we want if we supply the right seed, free of all negativity.

Be Patient With Yourself

Making the switch to total dependence on God takes time. “All of us have been programmed and trained for many, many years to put our faith in others or in materiality rather than in the Creative Forces and in ourselves as creators of what happens in our lives” (McArthur).

As I composed this post today, I got an opportunity to get a gauge on where I am with totally trusting the Universe to have my back. A truck pulled up in the parking lot and a man rang the doorbell. I answered the door, thinking it was someone for First Lutheran (the church we rent from).

The man asked me for money to put gas in his truck (a huge Chevy pickup) and to get a sandwich to eat. In my wallet, I had $50 but I gave him $5 because I have a big car repair to pay for tomorrow. When I sat back down, Spirit said, “That was your test. You don’t think I can give that back to you before tomorrow when you need to pay for your car?”


So, I’m still forgiving myself. 🙂

In each moment, just do the best that you know to do. When you hold back or give less than you can give, sow a seed of forgiveness for yourself and reaffirm your total trust in the Universe. Another opportunity to give will present itself.

Put the Word To Work For You

No one sows and reaps in a single day. We reap “what we have sown in the periods when that sown has come to fruitage” (McArthur). So, this is a process.

The consciousness that holds back and gives little did not appear overnight. You built it through many years of conditioning. The key to straightening out longstanding patterns of error thinking is to begin with the spiritual activity, which is the Word — the Logos.

Put the Word to work for you. Begin to speak the Word for the reality you truly want. As you speak the Word, what you notice will change. The Word will redirect your attention to that which is worthy of your attention. It will happen so naturally, you will think nothing of it. It will happen so imperceptibly that  you may not even notice the shift.

As the Word shifts what you notice, the character of the seeds in your hand will change because you are changing. Different seeds bring different results.

What About the Negative Seeds Sown?

Maybe you’ve sown some seeds that now you wish you hadn’t sown. For example, if I had it to do over again, I would’ve given Ronald (the man who came to the door) $50 instead of the $5 that I gave him. McArthur suggests several possibilities (directly quoted from Your Life):

  1. You may not have to meet those results in this lifetime.
  2. You are never presented with more than you can handle at any time as long as you put your trust in your Creator.
  3. Know that whatever seed you have sown is for a purpose, for your benefit, for your growth, and that you can get help from the Creative Forces in meeting the results. You, of course, need to ask for that help.
  4. There are higher laws — such as the law of grace, the law of forgiveness, and others — that enable us to meet the conditions we have created without going through all the chaos and trauma that we ordinarily would.

In short, you can handle it. You have not been left alone to handle it. The Universe is biased toward your success. We are not punished by the Universe for any action. We can turn to the Divine Presence within and ask for the grace to re-learn the lesson and to demonstrate what we couldn’t do before.

My Call to Action for You

Where are you holding back? Where are you giving less than 100%? Are you ready to tip the scales in your favor by giving more and better than you’ve given?


Then, identify an area in your life where you want to experience greater increase. Resolve today to apply the law in that area in the best way that you know how. Make a written declaration to yourself and to God that you will give  your very best, trusting the Universe will mirror back to you in the measure and in the manner in which you have sown.

Join us tonight for the Bible Hangout where we will discuss what it means to give without precondition.

Do you know the #1 reason most people lack peace of mind around money? They have the WRONG ATTITUDE, which chases money away — a reality few people can afford in the new ‘gig economy’ where many adults who work hold multiple jobs just to piece together a full time living.

With 20th century job security gone, we must respond differently. People everywhere keep asking, “How can I begin to plan to my life? How can I know I’ll have enough work to put a meal on the table for my kids, to pay bills, let alone to save for a mortgage or get a roof over my own head?”

Nearly 50% of the workforce lacks a full-time job. The gig economy’s feast or famine cycle demands a new attitude. The Money Poems will teach you the right attitude toward money.

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