Remember Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus? It was the place He could do very little. You’ll remember it to be a place of unbelief and a place that just considered Jesus a common man with nothing special to offer (Matt 13:54-58). It was here He would declare the power of God to release the captive and heal the broken. It was here the foolish thoughts of men raged so as to want Him dead (Lk.4). We need to get ourselves away from the small minded, common thoughts of Nazareth. The Prophet Joel prophesied of a day of power and provision of early and late rain unto a harvest to restore God’s people (Joel 2:23). It would promise a harvest of righteousness and an outpouring of His Holy Spirit. It is however, important to understand what Joel prophesied could only come when men humbled themselves to pray from the heart. James 5:7 says, ‘be patient for these rains like a farmer who waits for the early and late rain to produce what’s precious’. Too often we are thinking of the latter rain of Joel’s prophecy as some clearly defined end times movement, but what about the move of God that awaits us in prayer? I believe the patient farmer does not wait in the hot sun, but after his labor looks to do his waiting in a place of shade with a cool breeze. If you will look with spiritual eyes you will understand he waits in hope for God under the shadow of His almighty power. The patience to wait is found in prayer. “Prayer is the patience God will answer your fears and the confidence that He alone can dissolve your doubts”. Prayer changes the mind and heart of God concerning His people and moves Him to action on their behalf. Listen… there’s a thinking God must revolutionize and even re-new in your life. There is a wound that God must heal. He says to you, ‘I have healing balm which flows only from the finished work of Calvary, but you must open up your heart and trust Me to heal and restore in the humble place of prayer, and the shadow of my presence will refresh you, heal you and send rain to bring precious produce! Stop trying to live out of the movements of others, and start listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you! Stop looking for ‘the Revival” and start living for Jesus in this moment knowing He produces a harvest from His shadow by sending the early and late rain!
A Window Unto Harvest
Can a man be so greatly discouraged and yet encouraged both at the same time? I’d have given up, if I had not heard the sound that brought encouragement to my despair. There I was looking at the door given for me to walk through, however circumstances proved contrary and I found myself struggling with the work I’d been given to do. At that moment, if I’d been presented with other inviting options like door number 2 or door number 3, I would have given up on the first door. Door number one is always God’s best, yet ‘the enemy comes in like a flood’ to overthrow the plan of God and hinder your work with lies, fears and discouragement. On a day when discouragements came like clouds of gloom, a refreshing word came like gentle rain from afar. God used a brother from a distant place to send the word to encourage my life. That word God used to bring a window of insight. Now I had more than a door, I had one with a view to His glory; it was a word that could stir my heart to love and good deeds. God’s word is just like that! Amid your struggle, God’s word is right on time unfailing in its touch to remove the funk of confusion and despair. It is a refreshing rain sent from heaven to change your thinking and turn your life around. I was reminded of Isaiah 40:8 which says, “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Did you get that? This word is not swayed by the temporal, but it is forever settled in heaven. It will not be guided by ‘pop-culture’ and what looks good to my thinking. It will instead give me insight and a purpose greater than something that is here today and gone tomorrow. My door now has a window where I see by the Spirit there is much increase in working beyond its threshold. I believe Jesus is saying, ‘will you partner with me finding a window unto harvest?’ Jesus says in John chapter 6, ‘the flesh profits nothing, but the Spirit gives life’. His word offers us an anointing that breaks off every yoke of oppression, so I can find a harvest in these days. The Spirit of God is saying, ‘lift up your eyes and see the window unto harvest.’ It will change your life and add much increase to your work—just beyond that door!
The Rain That Brings Harvest
God says, ‘If you love Me and serve Me with all your heart, I will send the early and late rain bringing the necessary provision to finish the work of harvest in these times’ (Deut. 11:13-14). We live in difficult days, yet glorious days when you consider the Master commands a harvest. He presides as Lord of the harvest urging our service as His followers. In James 5:7-8, He says to you in these days, ‘be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord’. The reference to brethren is a reference to kinship and friendship; if you care to receive it, is a call to discipleship. It is a call to follow the things that drove the ministry of Jesus. In these two verses he says, consider the farmer and be like him. What about the farmer you ask? He is waiting on the precious produce of the soil with a vested interest in the field. These verses remind us the coming of the Lord is at hand, and that we should find ourselves committed to the produce of His field. Like the parable of the talents says about His return, He will be looking for your produce. He is not coming back so you can show Him your stuff. His return will be all about souls and what you’ve done with the seed He gave you. Jesus said, ‘lift your eyes and look on the fields white unto harvest’. Right now, amid perhaps, the greatest mixture of Christianity and darkness the world has ever known, there is a harvest waiting. However, one can only reap by being a friend of Jesus as John 15 states. He is saying, ‘I chose you, I appointed you to bear fruit, I appoint you to a harvest’. ‘Understand the season of my return is near, I’ve given the early rains, but it’s the latter rain that ushers in harvest.’ The body of Christ need remind herself and be encouraged that the rain of God’s blessing for harvest comes to a people–to a whole hearted people– who have lost themselves and yet been found, in a place of prayer. Praying with expectatation, they are looking to be found faithful in their work with a complete dependance upon the Lord who sends the rain that brings harvest. Do you understand the signs of the times? Have you heard His call? Let’s pray for eyes to see His field and for the rain that brings harvest.