I have been continuing to minister in Portugal. We have had a blessed time in Lousa and Leiria this week. I am moving in the Lisbon direction tomorrow. The hungry hearts of my Portuguese family always blesses me.
We are not of those wandering around aimless and without a target (1Pet. 1:18,19). God determined harvest before He determined sowing. He had dominion in mind when He made it possible for us to be fruitful. He had influence in mind when He declared we are a blessing. God established laws, principles, or realities of life that serve His purpose; therefore, these established realities must serve His purpose of harvest. God does not serve His laws; His laws serve Him and His purpose.
God determines harvest, thus the law of sowing is required to serve God’s purpose of harvest. Let’s look at an example of this in the life of Abraham.
Genesis 17:1-12 When Abram was ninety- nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
The sign of circumcision is one of having no confidence in the flesh. It is a sign of complete confidence in the ability of the Spirit of God to bring about all that God has promised. God made a promise to Abraham of a great harvest through his life. God said that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Abraham’s seed. Abraham received that word by faith and was required to carry out the sign of circumcision as an indication of his faith in God and His completed word. Abraham’s faith was not that there might be a fulfillment of God’s promise. His faith was in the fact that God would fulfill His promise. The circumcision of Abraham was not intended to be a legalistic mark in the flesh, but rather a testimony of a changed heart and mind toward God. God declares a harvest, thus He is willing to transform our hearts and minds by the power of His Spirit in order to bring that harvest to pass.
God brought forth His promise to Abraham through Isaac. Isaac was the seed of the promise and he was a result of the law of harvest. Abraham also had a son name Ishmael through the seed of the flesh. Ishmael was a result of the law of sowing and reaping. Ishmael was a great nation that resulted from the earthly law called sowing and reaping. We can have great things in our life that are the result of the law of sowing and reaping. Whatever we sow we will reap. If we sow bad things we will reap bad things. If we sow good things we will reap good things. If we sow God things we will reap God things. Not all good things are God things. The law of sowing and reaping is working whether we believe in it or not. But there is a law of harvest, which is greater than the law of sowing and reaping. It requires specific sowing to bring about a specific harvest. There was no law of harvest for Ishmael. Ishmael was the result of the law of sowing and reaping. Isaac was the result of the law of harvest. God spoke Isaac before there was ever a sowing. Because God spoke it there had to be a sowing and reaping to serve His word. Read Genesis chapter 22 and you will see that Abraham freely obeyed the command of the Lord by offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice upon the altar of faith. Just as Abraham’s knife was about to slay Isaac, God stopped him and provided a sacrifice in the thicket. God acknowledged Abraham’s faith in His greater law of harvest.
Genesis 22:15-18 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
It was by faith that Abraham received the word of harvest. He didn’t offer his son Isaac on the altar because of the law of sowing and reaping. He knew that God would have to raise him from the dead because of the law of harvest. Abraham was able to be obedient in the law of sowing and reaping because he had already by faith received the greater word of harvest. Abraham didn’t sow so that he would see a harvest. He freely sowed because he had already seen the harvest.
God’s purpose in sowing seed is for HARVEST. God requires seed because He has determined a harvest. He has a harvest for us in every area of our lives. We are going to have to see the harvest before we can see the sowing. We sow because we know we will reap. We don’t sow to reap. We do not sow seed because we want to see a harvest. We see a harvest, so we sow seed.
We must repent for the times that we have sowed seed in hopes of seeing a harvest. God has called us to walk by faith. We must sow seed for the thing that we see by faith, not for the thing that we cannot see. Seeing by faith is believing beyond the present natural realities of our world and then taking actions to serve that vision. Blindly sowing is seed sown from unbelief. We do not sow so that we might believe. We must sow because we do believe. Our food is to do the will of Him who sent us. It is time that we believe to see that for which we were sent. Faith comes by hearing God speak. We must submit the law of sowing and reaping to the purpose of God because we have heard what He has said. If God has given us a word for harvest we must be faithful to sow whatever it takes to reap what He has said. It is irrelevant how long we must sow or how much we must sow. We must simply sow until we see the full manifestation of what He has said. We must keep looking at the harvest, not the seed. Do we have our combines ready? Have we built our barns and are they ready? Is everything prepared to receive the harvest? When we see the harvest it’s not a question of whether we will reap or not. It is simply a matter of preparing for the time when we will. Do we have a sharp sickle on our combine? Is it greased? Do we have gas in the tank? Is the barn clean and ready to receive the harvest? Have we gotten the mice, rats and other devourers out before the crop comes in? Are the shipping trucks ready to transport the harvest out? Are we ready for export of the blessing? It was by faith that Abraham received the word of harvest. Abraham did not sow so that he would see a harvest. He freely sowed because he had already seen the harvest.
Ted J. Hanson