Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields of human souls are ripening all around us, and are ready now for reaping. John 4:35 TLB
If God is the Farmer and the earth is His garden, consider the overwhelming detail of the annual growing season. Because when it is summer in one country, it is winter in another. When it is growing season in one area, the ground is dormant in another. There is planting, watering, cultivating and harvest going on, somewhere, every minute of every day.
If we think of people as being the fruit of the garden, it looks much the same way. People go through life stages, they deal with turmoil and tribulation, success and failure, times when they are in need and open to help, and times when they are reclusive and stubborn, set in their ways. God doesn’t force Himself upon anyone but is always watching, listening, waiting for those who are ready to talk, ready for help, ready for harvest.
Jesus saw the people of the world, and all of their struggle and heartache and all that comes as a part of being in bondage to sin, and he saw ripe fields, He saw people exactly at a place where they could really receive the freedom that is found only in Him. It was as if Jesus looked at the worlds’ condition and said “Look at the hunger, and I’m the Bread”, “Look at the sin, and here is the Savior!” “Look at the bondage, and I am the deliverer!” Jesus knew that He was the solution, He was just what people needed! And it is still true!
Look around you. Watch. See the garden through the Gardeners lens.
He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:37-38 NLT
When we are able to see the world as Christ sees it, see people through the lens of God, like sheep without a shepherd, and have our hearts pierced with the love God has for His creation, we are ready to partner with God in prayer. When we see the world, the way He sees the world, our proper response is prayer.
We can’t pray as we should without first seeing as we should. That is, see people, every single human being, as the most precious, valued, soul in God’s creation. There isn’t one person who is worth less than another, not one life for whom Christ did not die. So, we look around and see people in need: for spiritual rebirth, for basic sustenance, for health, clean water, salvation, instruction in the love of God—so overwhelming is the need we see through the Gardener’s lens that we must pray. For only He can meet needs at the level that they exist. Only God can bring in the harvest of this generation, both individually among your family and loved ones, and globally, among the nations of the world.
And He calls the people who see the ripe harvest fields, to pray. Pray for laborers. Pray for God’s anointing upon people to bring the life and love of Jesus to others.
God responds to the prayer for laborers, by sending laborers. Prayer is so important because, somehow, in God’s economy, He has chosen to partner with humans who are surrendered to His will and seeing with His eyes. So we pray for laborers in God’s vineyard and He sends them forth.
But it doesn’t stop with prayer. Prayer is step two. See, pray, and then, in response to the prompting of the Spirit of God, we “Go” into the harvest field He moves us into, we witness of His forgiveness and love to the harvest field He places us in, we go in response to someone else’s prayers!
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” Matthew 10:5-6 NKJV
When you have an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ, the person or group you are sharing with are, likely, people who someone else is praying for! Someone is praying that God would send a laborer into that person’s life because they are ripe for harvest. And, so, God sent you!
Each of us has a responsibility to see, pray and go. And while you are praying for a loved one that is stationed in Iraq or the friend who moved to San Diego, praying that God would send someone to minister to them. Someone else, maybe someone across the country, is praying for the person in the cubicle next to yours! Someone in Idaho might be praying for their daughter, the barista you chat with every morning at Starbucks – and God is sending you into that person’s life! The mother in Michigan doesn’t know how their son will ever find his way at school in another state, so she prays for a friend, a servant of God, a laborer in Christ’s vineyard—and God sends you!
There are 7.7 billion reasons why Jesus gave this command, and those 7.7 billion reasons are the people in our generation. The harvest field is the world we live in and we are the only people who have the ability to reach this generation. The apostle Paul was great, but he’s not here. Peter could really preach, but he’s not here. See, the people living in the world today have only you and me and the people like us, to talk to them, and to share the love of Christ with them. Only us. How many will enter eternity outside of Christ?
The harvest is an invitation to life and wholeness. It is what every person needs. Salvation isn’t a ticket out of hell, it is the freedom of living your divine destiny in the peace and love of God without regard to your circumstances of life. It is being released from Satan’s grasp and being safe in the arms of God.
Every day when you get a glimpse of the hurting people in the world, cry out to God, only He can help, only He can heal and save. He is the only hope for this lost and dying world. And He will hear your prayers, your fervent, passionate prayers, and he listens, because they reflect His heart, and He will send the workers you are praying for! Then, as you go through your day, He will send you to someone, as well, in response to someone else’s prayers!