After our early morning wake-up call, Tony and I started praying through the book of Haggai.
The context of Haggai is that the first wave of Jews have returned from captivity in Babylon, but, apart from an initial spurt of activity in which the foundations of the temple were laid, nothing more has been done to build the temple in almost 20 years.
So God tells the Jewish leaders, through the prophet Haggai that all the problems they face (poor crops, drought, more bills than money at the end of the month) are because building their own homes is more important to them than building God's house.
At one point, Haggai tells the leaders :
"This is what the Lord of hosts says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’”
"You know what this verse reminds me of," Tony said, as we prayed over this verse yesterday evening. "The passage where Jesus tells the disciples:
You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!" (John 4: 35-36)
"God led us so clearly to this passage, so are we in the simple/organic church movement saying this too?" I commented."Lord, as soon as we've built community, as soon as we're more mature, as soon as life quietens down, as soon as…, then we'll reach out to our neighbors."
Jesus says the harvest is ready now, just as God told the leaders of the Jews in the book of Haggai, "Now is the time to build my house."
John chapter 15 is all about producing fruit:
When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples (verse 8).
I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name (verse 16).
We usually take these verses in John 15 to talk about having a Christ-like character–the fruit of the Spirit. But according to John 4, the fruit we are to produce is people brought to eternal life.
It's time for us to wake up and see the harvest.
What do you think?
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8 replies on “Time to harvest”
I was just thinking about prophecy today… Perhaps God is prophesying though you.
It strikes me that a big part of harvesting is asking for the fruit, rather than trying to make a harvest happen with my own effort.
We have been thinking about the link between Jesus’ comments in John 4 about the harvest being ready and also that he had food that his disciples didn’t know about.
Jesus was walking in something unknown or hidden to his disciples. The fruit of this was seeing many from Samaria believe and the exclamation that the harvest is ready.
Later Jesus rejoices that his disciples had finally got it and that God had revealed things to infants and babes.
So there is hope for us but I cannot help but think that it will involve walking in something so different to what we know…..
Joel and Ben, thank you for your comments.
Ben, I’d love to hear more of your thinking on this. It sounds fascinating! I find your last sentence–that it will involve walking in something so different to what we know… very challenging. The Lord is speaking to Tony and me about this. I think that time is coming soon.
I am also challenged by this. As someone who has moved out of the institutional church this past summer, I seem to be taking baby steps with it all. I have connected with a house gathering ministry but know that I am not to become comfortable within this environment either. For me personally it is becoming a regular at a bar full of harvest and discipling homeschoolers on how to see the harvest and be workers in it now as kids in their neighborhoods. Professionally I have started looking at how to move my business into the field instead of in a safe place afar. What excites me is the urgency and seriousness that fellow followers of Christ are taking this.
I had my own 3 am wake up call this morning. I’m asking God to show me the hungry hearts, people who want to walk closer, learn to listen and join in a LK10 foundations course here in Australia. I wrote down a list of potential people and prayed. As I was drifting back off I heard “Tangible Territories’ I’ve been asking God about what that might mean. This afternoon I spent some time listening and got the following.
I have my HOT-SPOTS where I am warming my peoples hearts.
Hearts aflame in a HOT-SPOT.
Perhaps this is a stratergy for this area, tangible territories, hotspots where Gods people are prepared for the harvest. I pray it is so.
capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial.
real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary: the tangible benefits of sunshine.
definite; not vague or elusive:
Jesus said something about the time is coming and indeed now is…..maybe it’s a bit like with this Felicity. It’s something that’s coming but is also already present.
This post got my attention because it speaks about some of the things we’ve (Peter Farmer and I) been reviewing and writing up as we survey where simple/organic church movements are at here in the UK. We’re writing up a paper to send out by the end of the year. Keep an eye out for that and if you felt you could blog/tweet about it then that would be great 😉
I think Jesus is clearly saying to us that there are some gaps in our thinking and some food that we do not know about.
Those who are prepared to count the cost and to love Jesus through obedience (If you love me obey my commands etc) might well see the fruit that the Lord of the harvest saw….
Beth, I love the way the Lord is leading you. Your moving your business out into the field reminds me of the story of some friends in a network near here who moved their men’s prayer meeting out into the harvest (a coffee shop). Within a year they had seen 25 people, customers at the coffee shop, find the Lord.
Maree, this is fascinating. I pray that Jesus will lead you into some very tangible territories with him.
Ben, I look forward to seeing the paper. Let me know when it is out. I wonder if the “food” that Jesus was talking about ties up with the fact that he only did what he saw his Father doing and only spoke what he heard from the Father.
“…because building their own homes is more important to them than building God’s house.”
…and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is more important than the tree of life, which is the only tree that bears the kind of fruit mentioned in John 15.