Matthew 9:35-38 – “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, 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 for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” NKJV
I recall, early in my Christian service, thinking about the immensity of the Harvest and the great need for the Gospel to be proclaimed to the whole world and became despondent. Some would chastise me over that statement and have, but I was viewing the work through the lens of one man and my insignificance and limitations.
I believe that, in a great measure, is what the writer of Ecclesiastes was speaking to when he said, “He who observes the wind will not so, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” When we look at a project or objective through the lens of our personal limitations we will have a great tendency to pull back and not venture out because of the enormity of the task. The Holy Spirit helped me overcome that mentality and explained something to me in such simplistic terms I was delivered from my fear and frustration as to the immensity of the task before us as believers.
The Lord helped me understand that the harvest is not dependent upon me alone but is a collective effort of every believer in every part of the world. Some will reap thousands if not millions and some will reap one or two but each will reap in their field and contribute something to the harvest.
It is not my responsibility to reap the entire harvest by myself but reap that harvest that is open before me where I am. If my field increases I will increase my reaping but if it remains the same I will reap in that field and other fields are not my responsibility except to pray for the worldwide harvest and worldwide laborers to be trained and thrust into those fields of harvest.
If the only opportunity you have to spread the Good News is occasionally to only a few people then rejoice in that opportunity and faithfully discharge your duties and invest yourself in your opportunity. If God opens the doors for you to speak to millions personally or via various electronic media invest yourself in that opportunity that is your new field of harvest. If you find yourself experiencing dry season and drought, then immerse yourself in prayer and remain faithful, planting seeds knowing that “some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.” It is a collective and collaborative effort of the Body of Christ not each of us individually.
The Harvest Fields have not diminished even with the increase of evil in the world or the rise of religions that oppose and reject God and the Bible. The number of laborers increases and decreases for various reasons but our individual responsibility is our “Jerusalem, our Judea, our Samaria, and our door of opportunity.” Then, we are charged to PRAY for more laborers to be sent forth into God’s harvest.
I have known of churches that invested themselves in prayer that God would do that very thing and send forth laborers into His harvest. When He did the harvest did not affiliate with their local congregation and they became jealous of those God choose or invited to participate and reaped the benefits of the harvested souls.
If we keep in mind that it is HIS CHURCH, HIS KINGDOM, and HIS HARVEST we will rejoice when a soul is born again and plucked from the clutches of the devil. I told a group of ministers that I was convinced I had helped build several churches other than the one I was charged with leading. We would see people born again and their heritage caused them to gravitate to other denominations and rather than becoming angry I rejoiced they were born again and seeking to become established in a local congregation where they could be nurtured and developed spiritually. It is God’s Harvest and I trust Him to plant people where He wants them planted and am committed to being a “faithful servant” and “steward” of His commission.
There is a Great Harvest, too few laborers, and too many times we seem to be hindered because of the immensity of the task. Let’s move beyond that hesitancy and invest ourselves in the field of labor the Lord has set before us, reaping that which we can for the Kingdom.
God bless you as you embark on today’s leg of your life journey!