“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
Today I drove past some beautiful corn fields ready for harvest in the rolling turf of southern Michigan where we call home. The stalks stand tall and the ears look full. A few weeks ago I admired acres of golden wheat fields ready for harvest. Now those fields have been harvested. As we launch on our autumn revival tour, this comes as an encouraging reminder of the fact of a ready harvest in the spiritual realm.
Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous.” The harvest is plentiful. Not will be, but is—right now. Since this is so, Jesus continued, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” The sending is not just into His fields, but into His harvest! If words have meaning and if language has integrity, then within the sphere of your life and mine, there are people ready to be harvested right now. The Lord of the harvest—the Holy Spirit—has already done His preparatory work to help people become aware of their need. Now they just need the answer—Jesus. They just need to hear the message of the Gospel in power. The Lord is looking for co-laborers to join Him in His harvest. What a privilege and yet what a responsibility!
Sometimes you may look around and wonder if anyone appears to be “ready.” But the spiritual realm is the realm of faith, where, based on God’s sure word, you trust in the reality of the unseen. The harvest is plentiful, not because it always looks that way, but because Jesus said so. Many times you do not “see” the readiness of a heart until you take the faith-steps of taking grace to obey as you then open your mouth with the Gospel. The Spirit leads. And when He leads you to engage someone in conversation, you can join Him, trusting Him to work. You can trust Him for a divine appointment—where God’s hand is manifested and God’s truth is given its weight.
The harvest truly is plentiful. This is more than a promised environment that someday “will be.” This is a present fact. It “is.” Amazing! When you embrace the fact of a ready harvest, it changes everything. Instead of calling at someone’s dwelling and hoping no one is home, you can anticipate seeing God work. You can expect that somewhere you will find a divine appointment, and this dynamic can occur through the many venues for communicating the good news.
One of my favorite stories of living according to the ready harvest comes from the life of a good friend of mine, Tom Johnson, missionary to Cambodia. When he began deputation he attended a Netcasters seminar, a course on the Spirit-filled life applied to evangelizing. God brought two truths home to Tom’s heart: the power of the Holy Spirit though faith and the fact of a ready harvest—a particularly explosive combination. Quickly, he went from ineffective duty-witnessing to effective delight-witnessing.
One day, as Tom and his wife continued on deputation, something came loose on their car’s rooftop carrier. Tom pulled into a parking lot, but instead of getting out and checking to see what was wrong (which I think I would have done), he wondered who it was God wanted him to witness to and looked for that person. That’s living according to the fact of a ready harvest. As he saw an elderly lady walking across the parking lot, the Holy Spirit prompted Tom to witness to her. He immediately approached and engaged her in conversation. Before long she trusted Christ as her Savior right there in the parking lot. Then, she expressed to Tom her amazement that he had spoken to her and told him she had been wondering how to know she would go to Heaven when she died. She said, “All day long I was praying that God would send a minister to me who would explain how I could know for sure I was going to Heaven. I called all my friends, and not one of them could tell me how I could get to Heaven. I called the Catholic priest, and he could not help me. I was fearful that I would die and not know where I would go.” That day, the Spirit guided a cooperating laborer into the path of a prepared heart. What a glorious example of the fact of a ready harvest!
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.