No Overnight Harvests
About 15 years ago, the Lord dropped a Word into my spirit that I knew would guide me throughout the years to come. It was during a time when I was hyper-spiritual and on the verge of a mental health crisis. I was unemployed and living with my stepmother at the time. I remember cleaning her kitchen when He said, “You will go through to get through.” At the time I didn't understand what He meant but over the years, those words have been my bedrock and for the next three issues, I'll explain why.
During some of the most difficult and painful times of my life, God would always lead me to sow. In fact, I can remember during some of the most financially difficult times of lack and despair is when He'd lead me to sow into Hand of Hope, ‘the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries’ whose ‘goal is…to help…hurting people’ and to ‘alleviate human suffering.’ 1 When my annual income was less than $3k, He’d lead me to sow regularly into Hand of Hope to help those who lived far below my less than poverty level way of life and it wasn’t until today that I saw how those seeds have gotten me to where I am today. You see, it was those seeds GOT ME THROUGH and GOT ME OUT.
Overnight Harvests vs. Spiritually Developed Fruit
As Christians, we’ve had a distorted view of sowing. We’ve been taught that as soon as we sow, we can turn to our neighbor and say, "Neighbor! As soon as I sow this seed, God is going to send me a quick harvest!" But I'm here to tell you to turn to your other neighbor and say, "Neighbor, that ain't always the case!" You know why? Because God didn't promise us a quick return. In fact, He told us that we would reap, if we faint not (Gal. 6:9). Why would He tell us not to faint if it were going to happen overnight? Because the majority of time it takes a long time to harvest and here's why.
It takes, on average, 60 to 75 days for collard greens to grow while it can take upward of three months for a watermelon to ripen. We’ve been taught that once we sow that our harvests will come back to us overnight, the same week or in 60 – 90 days. But again, that’s not always the case. Did you know that it takes apple trees anywhere from 2-5 years to grow while persimmon and pear trees take 3-4 years to grow.
Not only that but I bet you didn't know that it takes a pawpaw or sweet cherry tree upward of 5-7 years to grow?2 What’s the difference? The seed. Some of y'all are sowing collard and watermelon seed while others of us were sowing tree seeds. What I mean by that is that some seeds require more time than others. Collards and watermelons grow out the ground while apples, persimmons, pears, pawpaws and sweet cherries grow through the vine which can take years. Yes, YEARS! But would you sow a seed if you knew it would take years to harvest? In all likelihood, probably not. But for those of you who would, here’s a verse for you to stand on.
When It Takes Years To Reap
Daniel 10:1 says, ‘The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision.’ Though what God has shown you is true and you’ve sown a seed toward the vision, the appointed time for that thing to happen or for you to reap a harvest from that seed may take a long time. So settle it in your heart that no matter how long it takes, you will reap a harvest. Galatians 6:7 says, ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.’ So child of God, ‘don’t be deceived’, ‘…for in due season [you] shall reap if [you] don’t lose heart.’ The thing you need to remember is that some of the seeds you’ve sown may take years before you see a harvest. But again, you will reap. You just need to get it out of your head that it's going to happen overnight.
On the other hand, there are certain circumstances in which you need an immediate harvest. I get it. But here’s where I think we’ve missed it as Christians. We thought that by sowing a sacrificial seed that we’d reap an immediate financial harvest. But again, that’s not always the case. Sometimes your situation may require more than a seed. We've been taught to throw money at our problems...I mean to sow a seed...and that all of our problems would go away. But honey child, that doesn't always work. Sometimes you may need to sow a seed but don't just stop there. Also do what the Lord is leading you to do.
'...faith without works is dead.' - James 2:20
Again, don’t just rely on your seed. Don’t just sit there and wait for a quick return. Wait but also listen for the Lord’s leading because in addition to sowing there’s something that He needs for you to do in order to get the return to you. Because more than likely your return isn't going to come in the form of a check in the mail, an inheritance, or byway of some person who'll miraculously take care of your needs. There’s something you can do to bring in that quick return. The thing you need to do to ensure that it does is to spend more time with God than you do on social media and television. Get quiet child of God so that you’ll be able to receive the leading of the Lord. But let me say this. That leading will not be an audible voice. I said leading, not a voice and that leading may feel like a peace to do something that you've been thinking about or an idea...but let God lead you.
'And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live].' - Colossians 3:15 Amplified Bible
He may lead you to do something that may or may not make sense to you but you will have a peace about it. And it is in that moment that your obedience, or lack thereof, will determine your harvest.
So my dear reader, stop depending on a seed to do OVERNIGHT what it was never intended. A seed was intended to go through the ground in order to grow and as we all know, growth takes time. But while you child of God - wait and do what the Spirit of God leads you to do so that you can reap a timely harvest.
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please forgive me when I was expecting my seed to do all the work. Lord please teach me how not only to sow but grow into who You need me to be in the process. In Jesus’ name.
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