Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | May 29, 2006

Harvest – the process

We were very privileged to have Steve Walford as a guest with us in New Covenant Church over the weekend. Steve leads Church of Christ the King in Brighton and is the brother of Mick Walford, one of my co-elders here in the Swansea.

He shared with us some of the amazing testimonies of God's grace and miracles from around some of the New Frontiers family of churches, including how increase and growth was quickly establishing new church plants in Covent Garden and elsewhere across London.

What particularly caught my attention was the Scripture he chose to begin with – it described how spiritual growth and harvest comes:

Jesus also said "Here is another illustration of what the Kingdom of God is like: A farmer planted seeds in a field and then he went on with his other activities. As the days went by, the seeds sprouted and grew without the farmer's help, because the earth produces crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle

Mark 4: 26-29 (New Living Translation)

It was a powerful reminder that our part in the growth of the kingdom is to continually sow seed and to harvest, whereas the bit in between – increase – is God's part. Sometimes we may sow and others may harvest, sometimes we may harvest where others have sown, but either way it is God that causes the growth to occur.

It is immensely liberating to know that although we are involved in the increase of the kingdom of God, it is not down to us. When we exercise our faith by believing the word of God and acting on it in obedience, the seed goes into the ground. What comes next? Like the farmer, we wait 'and get on with our other activities' (v.27) and the process of growth takes place until the crop is ready to be harvested.

Perhaps if we really took note of this lesson about the nature of the kingdom of God we would do far more seed-sowing instead of worrying about how and why growth will occur?

It's time to plant seed or wield a sickle – but ensure we believe God for the rest.

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Responses

  1. Great post, Hugh!

    I heard this not too long ago – maybe my elder, Dan, said it…or my other elder, Tom –
    I can’t remember, exactly…but it had something to do with this: With seedlings and very young plants, you must leave them to grow undisturbed. If you continually dig them up to check on their progress – or to monitor their condition in some other way –
    then the small plant will die. You must allow the plant to grow and develop in God’s timing.

    I am having a thought: If we don’t learn to leave the growth to God – if we begin to concern ourselves with the things that only God can do, beyond our call to sow and harvest – then we can run the risk of exposing the work that God does in secret, in the secret heart…and then we endanger the work. We can never accomplish nearly as well that which only Lord Jesus can do by the Power of His and His Father’s Holy Spirit. We really do need to be like the farmer, Hugh, and rest knowing that He is caring for the tender young plants in the meantime. Well said – awesome post.

  2. True words Hugh. As I was reading the post; these words of Apostle Paul came to mind: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”-1 Corinthians 3:6


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