[b]The Urgency of the Harvest[/b]
my kids seem to have the corner on the market in this category. I am reminded of the many times that I go to the grocery store with just one of my kids (because taking all four of them is sure suicide!). I read them their rights before even getting out of the car. It goes something like this: We are going to get only what I have on the list. You are to take joy in the fact that you are getting nothing that you want. You are not to pester, not to cry, not to whine. Nothing! Do you hear me?
As sure as I say all this, I know for certain that no matter how many times I read them their rights, they will still make every effort to drive me insane. The fact of the matter remains, that by the time we leave the store, I break down in complete exhaustion from the incessant pestering and let them buy that gumball I bribed them with to make them stop. How can I resist? We pass right by the big red tower with a great big clear bubble on top filled with colorful balls of sugary sweet gummy candy every single time we enter or exit the store. Its like its got some sort of magnetic pull on the heart strings of my kids. Really its just a mean nasty way to undermine my parenting!
There is a Greek word used to describe this very kind of pestering or begging that my kids use. Its the word deomai and it means to beseech or beg from the gut! This same word is used in Luke 9:38 where the man is begging for his little boy, his only son, to be released from the demons that were demonizing him with seizures and screaming. The disciples had already tried and failed. So he deomais Jesus to cast these evil spirits out of his precious boy.
This same word is used just a few verses later in Luke 10:2: The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and deomai him to send out more workers for his fields.
Do you sense the passion that Jesus commands us to use to pray this prayer? Take note of the word command. In the Great Commission Christ says,
teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:20) If it is commanded by Jesus that we should beg him for more workers in His harvest fields, then it must be in the heart of God to answer it! This gets me fired up!
I heard that the term white unto harvest, used in other versions of the Bible in reference to this passage, is a farming term that literally means the harvest will have a white head on it indicating that if it is not harvested that very day it will spoil and be of no good the following day. So when Jesus says, "look at the fields white unto harvest," he is painting a picture that shows the urgency of harvesting lost souls immediately. Dont wait for they surely will spoil by morning.
Luke 10:2 also states:
but the workers are so few. As I look around our great city, I see so many lost souls who are hopeless without Jesus. They are ready (white) for his saving grace in their lives, but there are not enough workers to harvest them. There are now approximately 65 believers in the flow of thequest that live here in the Columbus area. There are approximately 775,000 people who live within the Columbus City limits. How many of them dont yet know Jesus? How can we possibly harvest so much?
What we need are more workers. Maybe we could recruit folks from other churches who could help us in this endeavor. Is that a good solution? I think not. The answer is not for us to recruit more believers to harvest the fields. So where do we get more workers?
The workers are found in the harvest. Just as one person is reached with the message of saving grace, they too will have a sphere of influence they will reach with this same message. The answer is not harvesting by addition, but harvesting through multiplication!
Heres an example to considera Tomato: When a tomato seed is planted it grows one plant. As the plant matures, it grows many vines, as the vines bloom, they produce fruit (many tomatoes). From a tiny little tomato seed comes many tomatoes. My 6 tomato plants this year yielded over 100 tomatoes. Just six little seeds multiplied themselves and 100+ tomatoes resulted! But is that the end product? Certainly not! If each tomato dies to itself and its seeds get planted in fertile soil, an even greater harvest is produced. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of tomatoes will be reproduced! From one tiny seeds comes a bazillion tomatoes!
Other than planting the seed, did anything I do cause these tomatoes to be produced? Not really. My hearts desire was to see my tomato plants yield more fruit than I knew what to do with. And God answered that prayer. If he cares that much about tomato seeds, dont you think it is in the heart of God to see the Kingdom of Heaven multiplied in such a fashion?
Heres another Greek word for you: exballo. This word means to thrust forth, launch, used in casting out demons, implies a high degree of motivation. This word is the very word that is used in Luke 10:2 where Christ says, Pray to the Lord of the harvest, and deomai Him to exballo (cast out with a high degree of motivation) more workers for his fields. What an awesome picture!
Here it is, the point of this entire article: I am begging God to throw every single one of our tiny little tomato seeds (65 questers) out into the harvest field to bring in the harvest! Look! The fields are white and ready for harvesting. Go now, before it is too late!
How do we go from here?
Pray>> Find a prayer partner and set your cell phone alarm clocks to go off at 10:02am or pm. Stop whatever it is you are doing (for just a moment) and beg God to raise up workers within the harvest. Be specific and then watch and see what God does! We call this the Ten2b Virus (from Luke 10:2b).
Heres a prayer you could pray: Jesus we believe you want to see a local expression of the church within walking distance of every 500 people within the City of Columbus. Thats approximately 1550 churches, we beg you to raise workers to reap the harvest here.
Sow>>To use a phrase that I have grown to love coined by my friend, mentor and fellow evangelist Ed Waken (Phoenix, Arizona): Get out there, and cast some seed! In your everyday life look for chances to cast some seed about the Good News of Jesus and then throw it on the soil of peoples hearts.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon