“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that — the fields are white for harvest.” – John 4:35, ESV
“Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38, ESV
My parents live in the panhandle of Florida – farm country. Where their yard ends, a large cotton field begins and since it is flat land, you can see the many cotton fields across the road in front of their house. It is a beautiful sight to see the sunset in the distance over the fields of white cotton at harvest time. It is this image that I see when I read the Scripture passages above.
Someone shared recently that the harvest doesn’t come in on its own – someone has to go and bring it in. Many never consider that we may be one of the laborers called to go out and bring in the harvest as an answer to prayer. Nothing in Scripture tells us that Jesus spoke these words (and those of the Great Commission) to just twelve “specialized” laborers – His apostles. The call to pray for the laborers and to go is to all those who call Jesus Lord and Savior.
While it is true that not everyone will go, our hearts should be open and willing. The harvest is both near and far – think of a huge farm; we don’t ignore the harvest at the far end of the field no matter how much it looks like there is plenty nearby.
So once we open our hearts and allow God to take care of our fears and can consider going, what’s next? One step is taking inventory about what or who God has put on your heart. Does a certain region of the world keep “calling your name”? Do you feel drawn to a particular people group? William Carey said, ‘To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.’ I’ll add that you need open hands also. Speaking from experience, don’t try to dictate to God where, when or how you will you go (or not go.)
There are other important steps (talking to those serving in the field and to Living Hope mission leaders, finding a sending agency, taking Perspectives, etc.) but all of that follows from a willingness to surrender and let yourself be called to the harvest.
Disciple making is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel but a command for us to go to others to share the gospel. – David Platt
If you don’t have a definite call to stay here, you are called to go. – Keith Green
- What would it look like for you to be a laborer in the harvest?
- Are you called to stay or called to go?
- Will you share with someone you trust to give feedback and pray with and for you?