Autumn is the time of year when farmers work long hours to harvest their crops. Months after the ground was prepared and the seed was planted, the grain is finally ready to pick. The ripe soybeans and corn are gathered and taken to market.
This process might remind those of us who follow Christ that the Lord has a harvest too. Just as the farmer diligently works to bring in the crops, we also must be about the business of working in the Lord’s harvest, bringing people to him.
First, we need to see the potential of the Lord’s harvest. In John 4:35, Jesus says to his disciples, “…I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” He uses this agricultural metaphor to point out that there are a great number of people who need to be gathered into his kingdom. If we don’t see many people around us who need to come to Jesus, we just aren’t seeing what’s really out there! It’s time we began to see the world as Jesus sees it—filled with many lost souls who are ripe for the harvest.
Second, we ought to be praying about the harvest. That is what Jesus encourages us to do in Matthew 9:37-38—“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” It’s still true that there is a great need for more workers in the Lord’s harvest. Many churches are often short on teachers, youth workers, those who help with benevolent and outreach efforts, etc. We need to pray that God will send people out to work in his harvest. If we try to send them, it’s easy for them to say, “No”. But if God sends them, that’s another matter! Oh, and when we finish praying, we need to be ready for any assignment God might give to us ourselves. Like one old farmer said, “When you pray for a good crop, you’d better have a hoe in your hand when you say ‘Amen’”!
Finally, we need to go in the power the Lord has given us when we go to work in the Lord’s harvest. Serving under our own power is insufficient. God has given us tremendous power to serve in his fields. We only need to make use of that power. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Do you see the potential? Are you praying for God to send people? Are you using the tremendous power that God makes available to you? Let’s all be diligent workers in the Lord’s harvest!