Wednesday, February 16

Kingdom work is done in seasons over time.

We speak of the harvest, but rarely take into account that seasons of plowing, planting, watering, and weeding precede harvest.

When we find ourselves in one of these pre-harvest seasons we need to be fully engaged in that phase of the harvest cycle. In between harvest cycles, there is little we can do other than pray and wait upon the Lord. Since apparently we don't see anything major happening, we assume nothing is taking place. But the Holy Spirit needs to be trusted. He is the One at work behind the scenes. Kingdom work is done in seasons over time.

Prayer must accompany each phase in the harvest, but all the prayer in the world won´t speed up the process. If we are in the "watering" period it does little good to fret and cry out to God because we still haven't seen fruit from our labors. We have a hard time accepting that prayer doesn't seem to be able to accelerate or change the planting cycle!

We want Kingdom matters to operate on our time schedule and conform to our expectations. When they don't we anguish, pray harder, and maybe make adjustments to the way we are working thinking that the fault is with us. If we can just do things better, correct our errors, then we will see the longed for harvest.

Often what we need is to do less and trust God more. He is at work in the invisible world to bring about all of his plans and purposes. In His time he will bring about His Kingdom.

Does "waiting on the Lord" mean sitting around doing nothing while we wait for the Lord to act?

I personally feel we can do only so much within a given season of the harvest. If it is plowing season, we can plow. If it is planting time, we should be throwing everything we have into getting that seed into the ground. Same goes for watering, weeding, and bringing in the harvest. But beyond doing what we can in the current cycle before us, there isn't a whole lot more we can do. So why stress, fret, and allow ourselves to anguish over things we have no control over?

The following 4-min. "Frog and Toad" story expresses well what I believe Paul was saying to the Corinthians, "So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth...for we are God's fellow-workers; you are God's field..."

6 comments:

Aussie John said...

Guy,

Reminds me of a story an elderly lady missionary to Borneo told us when we were students. Many times, the story was brought back to mind, and I was often brought back to reality by its remembrance.

She had begun her work amongst an unevangelized tribe and ministered for 40 years. She recounted her disappointment having returned home without seeing one convert. She then told us how short-lived her disappointment was when her replacement in the field was seeing men and women come to Christ on a daily basis.

She said she was overjoyed that God had chosen her to be a seed sower and that the harvest belonged to Him.

GuyMuse said...

Aussie John,

In the history of Kingdom work in Ecuador is a similar story where a missionary lived and worked for 40 years without a single convert. Within weeks of her death a major revival broke out in the area where she had lived. Today it is estimated that some 40% of the population in that region are believers!

Jeremy Myers said...

"So why stress, fret, and allow ourselves to anguish over things we have no control over?"

Because it seems I never get out of the plowing season. Some days, I step back from the plow, look around, wipe the sweat off my face, and think, "Just how big is this gosh darn field?!"

Jeremy Myers said...

Although, I should say, that I haven't plowed for 40 years yet like the lady in Ecuador...

GuyMuse said...

Jeremy,

It could be we are assigned multiple fields. In one we find ourselves plowing like you describe above. But maybe we need to be also working an adjacent field where some watering needs to be done on the seed already planted. As Bruce reminded us earlier today, Jesus said the fields are white and ready for harvest, whether we see them so or not. Maybe we need to pause long enough from our plowing to explore neighboring fields where there is indeed a harvest awaiting. Just something to think about.

Jeremy Myers said...

Guy,

You are right. It's just that this one field is my favorite! Ha ha.