Preparing for a Harvest
There are many churches who have opened their doors and have resumed services. I have seen multiple videos done by these churches giving their people directions on how to physically conduct themselves as they gather together. We will be joining the ranks in a few weeks and I’m sure we will also publish a cheesy video showing you all how we will reopen our doors. Until then, I want to the take the next two weeks to prepare us for something even more pressing than physically worshipping together again.
I have a feeling that we are going to see a great spiritual harvest when we get to come back together in a few weeks. It’s something that God keeps reminding me of as I pray and read His Word. In fact, a month ago, I just happened to look at the calendar and saw that Pentecost is coming up on May 31st. For those of you who don’t know what that signifies, Pentecost is a celebration of the harvest. God established the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, in Leviticus 23. He commanded people to bring their offering of new grain to the Lord. It was a time to honor God for blessing them with a harvest.
You are probably more familiar with the Pentecost story from Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit blew through the upper room and transformed the disciples, giving them the courage and the gifts to reach the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On that day, after the disciples had proclaimed Christ to the many onlookers, three-thousand people were added to their numbers, declaring Jesus as their savior. Could you imagine?!
All of that information is just an introduction to what we will be studying over the next two weeks. It’s a way for us to anticipate what God will do when we are free to gather together. If He is going to give us a harvest, we must be prepared for that harvest. A farmer would never head into harvest season without being prepared. As they anticipate the harvest, they know that their equipment must be ready, as well as their storehouses.
In John 4, after Jesus ministered to the woman at the well, she went back to her home town and urged people to go and see Jesus, the man who had radically changed her life. The disciples had missed out on Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well. When they returned to Jesus, they could see the townspeople coming towards them, and instead of jumping on the huge evangelistic opportunity right in front of them, they were more concerned for Jesus’ physical well being because He hadn’t eaten anything. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach the disciples an important lesson. He responded to them by saying:
John 4:34-38 says, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Whether Jesus was referring to the fields surrounding them or to the white robed Samaritans coming up the hill, eager to hear what He had to say, He was making His point clear, hearts were ripe for an eternal harvest.
I think that the hardest part for me during this time has been not being able to look into people’s eyes and know how they are doing. Not just physically but spiritually. We can usually identify the physical needs of someone, but the spiritual needs can be harder, especially when we are physically distanced from each other. I believe that when we are able to be together again, there will be beautiful times of spiritual healing and ministry.
Most of us have spent the last eight weeks in our homes, everything has been canceled, we haven’t had places to go or people to see. We have had all of this time to press into the heart of God and allow Him to grow us and mature us. I pray you have been wise with this time you’ve been given because on the other side of this is an eternal harvest just waiting to be reaped.
For today, I want you to spend the day praying that God would give you eyes to see the harvest that is coming. We don’t want to be only focused on the physical needs of our loved ones and neighbors, we want to be prepared for the deeper spiritual harvest just on the horizon. Who has God been revealing Himself to over the last 8 weeks? Who has been asking you spiritual questions about eternity and salvation? Who has come to you broken and lost and in search of hope?
These devotions are going to help us prepare for the harvest that is coming our way. I pray you will join me in this time of preparation!
The New International Version. (2011). (Jn 4:34–38). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.