The Lord of the Harvest
In Matt 9:37-38 the Lord told us what to do about the plentiful harvest and the shortage of laborers. He said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest”. In this text we see:
“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest”. Are you praying this? We’re not praying this on Wednesday nights. The prayer is to the Lord of the harvest. We remember that he is the Lord of our health, jobs, children, etc. But we forget about the harvest. This is a prayer to the Lord, not a request to churches or individuals. There should be no pressure or intimidation to raise up the laborers. He just told us to pray and you can be sure he hears these prayers.
“That he would send forth”. In Acts 13:1-4, the Lord sent Saul and Barnabas. Who called the disciples? Jesus did. He said follow me. Who sent them? Jesus did. He said, “Go ye into all the world”. He’s still in the sending business. It can be hard to know this today because it appears many are being sent that he didn’t send. Missions runs like a business today. And a poorly run business I might add.
Then there’s the problem of men going to Bible college for training. If the college likes them, they keep them for their ministry. I met two men recently who went to Bible college from a friend’s church. They’ve graduated and they’re still at the church where they went to college. Why haven’t they returned to the church from whence they came to help in the ministry there?
Another problem with the Lord sending forth is that you don’t want a good man to go. You don’t want God to send him somewhere else.
“Laborers”. In 1 Cor 3:9 we are laborers together with God. Laborers are men who have been trained to work in the harvest. This is why we re emphasizing 2 Tim 2:2 for the Preachers Conference. You wouldn’t send a medic, a soldier, a peace officer, ar an astronaut out with the amount of training we give to laborers. That’s why we’ve started working with some men in our church. We want them to learn by demonstration the ins and outs of the work.
“Into his harvest”. Sometimes we act like it’s our harvest. We say “our” church, or “our” people. These are not ours; they are his. It’s his harvest. Once we think of it as ours, the motivation is that we have to put people into our ministry. Our ministry has to grow. That kind of mindset can trample a harvest. The Lord has been working in the lives of people long before we show up to labor. We need to respect his harvest and just do the part he wants us to do.
Conclusion to the Lord of the Harvest
Start praying. Start learning to labor. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading to be sent forth. And keep your hands off the harvest; it’s his.