Harvesting in Life

By: Gabriela Yareliz; based on the quotes and message by Dr. Tony Evans, “Let it Work” ; [Sorry for the typos, I shudder when I find them].

It’s harvest season here. Upstate New York has an abundance of produce and crops; some people have apples coming out of their ears– it’s that time of year.

According to the dictionary, harvest is “a process and period of gathering in crops” and “the product or result of an action.”

In life, the concept of planting (sowing) and reaping (harvesting) is very present. We often acquire the results/consequences from our actions (or lack of actions).

If you take a pear seed and plant it, you will not get an apple tree. If you plant a pear seed, you will get a pear tree. Interestingly, “God operates by laws and rules; miracles are an exception,” Dr. Tony Evans explained. God is a God of order [he created order], and He is the moral law giver. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive.

Jesus often spoke in parables. He spoke about things that were analogous to the lives of his listeners. The parables were a way of making each person think of his or her own state. With a parable, the person must confront him or herself. Farmers were among his listeners. Therefore, Jesus used agrarian illustrations often in the Bible. Apostles like Paul used these types of illustrations as well.

So, let’s try to break down this whole planting and harvesting concept…and of course, its application. It’s harvest season; the timing is perfect.

a] What you plant

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

What is meant by it?

We can only receive what we have planted.

“But this I say, He that soweth [plants] sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

You can’t expect blessings and needs to be met if you never address them in the first place. You can’t sit at your computer all day and expect an orchard to be making itself outside. To harvest, there must first be an action, as the definition of harvest indicates. The harvest is the result.

So, to receive, you must first “plant.” What is meant by this? How does one plant a seed. It’s action and faith. It’s taking the actions and risks necessary to prepare yourself for what it is that you want or need.

b] How much you plant

“A farmer can’t plant one seed and look for 15 acres of produce,” Dr. Tony Evans said.

There is a quote that says: “If you are unwilling to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

What are you willing to work for and hope for? If you want 15 acres of produce, Dr. Tony Evans said, you better get out there and break 15 acres of land and sweat planting those 15 acres. How much you plant determines the measure you will receive.

c] Where you plant

Dr. Tony Evans gave an illustration that he can’t take seeds and sprinkle them on the church carpet because he can wait for the rest of his life, but a plant is not going to grow in there. You can’t plant a seed in ground [soil] that will not respond.

Are you investing in things that will give no return or investing in relationships with people who simply do not care? Are you hoping for a sunshine plant but planting in the shade? It’s time to look at where you are trying to plant your seed, and how you are trying to prepare to receive your blessing.

d] When you plant

Timing is everything, right?

You can’t drop a seed today, and look for a plant tomorrow, Dr. Tony Evans stressed. There is always a time gap. Just because you don’t see a plant for a while, doesn’t mean something is not happening beneath the soil, where your eye can’t see.

When we plant something, there is no instantaneous reward. Before a seed can grow, it must die. It dies, and then it begins its life. To have a healthy plant grow, you care for it, water it, protect it–so it is with our dreams of growth in life and the things we hope for. We must let the bad, the pride, all of that needs to die and be replaced by faith and a reflection of God’s character: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control. We must protect that treasured goal and hope with a shield of faith.

It may seem like growth is a long process, and harvest is a long way off, but God’s timing is perfect.

“God is after long-term benefit, not short-term pleasure,” Dr. Tony Evans said.

Galatians 6: 7-9

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.

And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

e] Why you plant

As with many things in life, we have our own motivations for doing things, and sometimes those motivations change. We may be motivated by selfishness and pride without realizing it.

God meets your needs and blesses you in a way that will increase your righteousness; he doesn’t bless you just for blessings sake, Dr. Tony Evans said. God often blesses and provides for us in a way that will help us grow and bless others.

God told Abraham He would bless him so that Abraham could be a blessing to others. Dr. Evans makes the point that, essentially: “Reaping isn’t always about keeping.”

d] Food for thought

What is your need? What blessing are you praying for? What actions can you take to show your faith and plant a seed? Where are you planting? How are you planting? How much are you planting? What are you planting? Why are you planting? And finally, who can you bless with the fruit from your plant?

It’s time to prepare the field for rain because the harvest will surely come.

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