What’s different about Harvesters?
It looks like Jesus was not just keen to bless people, nor to merely alleviate suffering, nor to elevate people’s standards of living. He was going for something that would be far greater than the short-lived elevation of an earth-bound existence. His incarnation, death and resurrection stretched forth unto eternity. So He looked forward to drinking the cup again in His Father’s kingdom. His harvest was not one of short-lived, temporary blessings, but one of eternal transformation that came from people being grafted into the vine, the body of Christ for all Eternity. His was not a goal of “meaningful conversations”, but of harvesting souls that would be separated from the stem of worldly allegiance and identity.
I believe that that is what God has for us when He sends us into His ministry. For that, we fain would remain satisfied with seeing movements in people’s hearts, without seeing them won for God and taking their place in His body and His mission. The lack of fruit often comes from being satisfied without a vision of people being won for God all the way! That is what Paul meant when he spoke about being in travail (again!) until Christ be formed in the Galatians. Obviously, the Galatians had tasted the fruit of heaven, but they were now in danger of fading out of communion, and into bondage. As a spiritual parent, Paul was not going to accept that outcome, because of the love of God in him.
A vision of more – searching for answers
If we carry a mentality that contains no vision of God’s desire for men and women to be won over and separated out to his purposes, we will probably see little complete fruition, maybe even be self-satisfied to see the stirrings of God. But if we have a vision of more, then we will begin searching for answers to how we can minister with the cutting edges of a harvesting instrument. The Servant of Yahweh is told in Isaiah that he will be made into a sharp threshing instrument with teeth. What manner of ministry does that entail? What does it mean to be a harvester – that kind that Jesus prays for?
2 Types of Harvesting
There are 2 types of harvesting:
- The easy harvesting involves merely placing your hand where the fruit is about to drop. Nothing much is needed here. The fruit will easily drop on your hand. This is the harvest that we are all able to recognize and participate in. Often though, in such cases, by the time the fruit drops, it’s past the optimum harvesting time.
- This kind of harvest is where the vast majority of the fruit lies, but it involves having elevated eyes to actually discern ripeness and separate the fruit from the tree by means of a cutting edge, before it drops off.
The key to harvest is not 1 but 2. What we want is to be good at 2. We can already do 1 because it doesn’t take that much to do it. Put another way, the key to fruitfulness has much to do with becoming a Type 2 harvester.
Questions for you
- Take a step back to ask, “What is my vision for people I am ministering to?”
- What questions arise in your heart as you seek a vision of more?