There is a song we love to listen to, one of the lines says, “Im reaping the harvest God promised me, taking back what the devil stole from me.” What better time to be reminded of the power that we have, to reclaim the harvest stolen from us, than now. We are in the harvest season.
Throughout the Bible, harvest has always carried great spiritual significance. It is used in parables such as fund in Luke 8:4-8 and as a way of describing spiritual growth and health as found in 2 Corinthians 9:10 and James 3:18. While harvest has also been used to explain the natural cycles of farming crops, Jesus also spoke of the spiritual harvest.
In the John 4:35-38, Jesus spoke of the spiritual harvest to the woman at the well, His disciples, and the Samaritans. Jesus said, “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” (John 4:35). In the days following this statement, many of the Samaritans became believers in Christ (verse 41). Jesus saw the spiritual harvest of souls waiting in that village. In fact, by their own testimony, the Samaritans said we believe, “for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world” (John 4:44)
We find in the Gospel of Matthew, particularly in chapter nine verses thirty-six through thirty-eight, Jesus yet again spoke of the spiritual harvest, “He saw the crowds, and he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Here, Jesus referred to the many souls needing to be brought to repentance and faith as a harvest waiting to be realized.
A spiritual harvest is the result of God’s work in the heart of man. It is clear from the parable of the sower that some people’s hearts are good soil; when the Word of God is sown there, the person accepts it and continues to mature in Christ (Luke 8:9-15). We as laborers in Christ harvest cannot change the soil—that is God’s job (Ezekiel 36:26). However, we can be faithful to sow the seed which is the word of God, or help the plants (the people) to grow, or reap the harvest. God will positions each and every one of us where he needs us the most.
The process of spiritual growth and maturity, from the heart’s regeneration to the recognition of faith, is often a long journey. In fact, the Bible indicates that the sower, the tender, and the reaper are likely to be different people at different times. Read John 4:35-38 and 1 Corinthians 3:6-9.
It is important to note that, God never desires for us to be in harms way or to suffer. The will of the Lord concerning us has always been for good and for life. Sin, has robbed us of that good which the Lord reserved for us in this life. Sin has also robbed many of Christ’s provisions of eternal life to come. For these reasons, harvest time should be especially important. First, we need to take back for ourselves what the sin has taken from us. We do this by acknowledging Jesus Christ as our soul authority every day and in all things.
Next, the harvest is important because, as the laborers of Christ in His fields, we plant the seed of His word, we nourish the seed of His word, and pray to Jesus on behalf of others so that they may claim their inheritance of eternal life, through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.
Jesus told us in Matthew 9:38 to pray to the Lord of the harvest for more laborers. We should pray about all aspects of the spiritual harvest process, including the preparation of the soil, which is the heart. We can ask God to change our hearts and the hearts of others. But remember, we can plant, we can water, we can till the soil, and we can harvest the fruit, but we cannot make the plant grow. Essentially, the heart transformation is between each person and Christ. We are simply obedient laborers whose primary tool is prayer.
Love and Blessings Always,
Pastors Sanette and Garritt