Oh, I like to drive by farms, and even visit farms, yet you could never classify me as a farmer. The work looks so very hard and complex. Think of it like this, if a farm fails to produce a harvest, can you call them a true farm? No, they are just “make believe” farms. They might look like a farm, but without a production then they make false claims.
Everything a farmer does have consequences, as well as payback. What they do today will produce results in the future, maybe not tomorrow, or next week, but perhaps weeks, months or even years from now. How they apply themselves today, and tomorrow, will not produce immediate profitable results until the right time. In fact, I often wonder if farmers grow weary of all the doing and not seeing the results. With a farmer, everything exists to produce a harvest, all else becomes secondary.
When Noah came off the ark with all the livestock and his family, scripture records the event like this:
Gen 8:18-22 KJV And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: (19) Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. (20) And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (21) And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (22) While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Notice that last verse – while the earth remains, seed, time and harvest shall not cease. Along with the times and the seasons, there will always be a time of preparing the ground for the planting of seeds. Over time, and with proper care and attention to details, a harvest will be celebrated! Along with the work of the day, time is required for germination and growth before a harvest can be reaped.
Look at it within the framework of the church – we prepare ground, we plant seeds, we nurture and provide a good growing environment, and eventually a harvest will be reaped!
Each step of the process is hard work.
There will be long, dry seasons, where you must nurture the ground by your own sweat and effort. There will be pestilences where you fight against the enemy that is all about destroying your hard work. Weeds must be mercilessly pulled from the soil (remember, one mans weed is another mans flower…). The soil will become hard and will constantly need to be tilled and broken up. Buried deep underground, and over time, rocks will move closer to the surface, and they must be removed less they destroy the equipment. Some day the sun will blaze, other days the wind and rain will pound the earth. Some days you will fill like doing the work of a farmer, but rest assured, there is no true break from the task of maintaining the environment so that you can rejoice on the day of harvest.
The Apostle Paul even added a different viewpoint to this process: “I have planted, Apollos has watered, but God gave the increase.” (1 Cor. 3:6). One thought of this, perhaps, is that you do not have to be there to enjoy the increase. It’s God result of His Spirit moving upon your work to produce the results.
Do your part and God will do His part!
Here’s the rub… Where are all the laborers that are willing to do their part?
Jesus recognized the minimal effort that some are willing to do, or even the hanger-on’s who are not willing to do anything.
Mat 9:35-38 KJV And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (36) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (37) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; (38) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
There is a continual harvest based on the results of those laborers who have gone before us. The church needs continual laborers who come in and do their part to produce a harvest, even if they are not around to celebrate in the harvest at some future date.
There is “So Much Farming To Do…” Someone needs to break up and prepare the soil. Another needs to do the back breaking work of planting the seed. Still, someone else needs to constantly nurture the seed against all the dangers that exist until maturity. The harvest will come at it’s own time, and not a moment before it’s ready, whether you are there or not…
Come on, Farmers, let’s all do our part!