It’s officially fall and all the fall things are everywhere you look. A common theme among those fall things is the word harvest. When we were on our road trip we stopped at Buc cee’s and saw the cutest ball cap. It looked exactly like this one:
Super cute, right? So fall-y, huh? I thought so too.
I immediately had the mental image of a farmer planting, nurturing and harvesting corn to sell so that he could provide for his family.
It was at that point I had a major light bulb moment…
So it goes with the promises of God. They are present on the inside of you just waiting to be realized in each season of your life and for His ultimate glory. You don’t have to work to attain His promises for you, they just exist. But that is only part of the story.
Think of the promises of God like seeds. Just like seeds, HIs promises must be planted, nurtured to maturity and harvested… by you and me. That, my friend, is the other part of the story.
But let me back up.
There have been two promises tied to my life from the time I was very, very little: Jerahmiah 29:11 and John 14:12. However, if you have followed me for any length of time, you know my story. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, yet somehow, God sought me out and stayed close to me. While I didn’t know it at the time, His presence was a consistent and constant part of my life. He had a plan for me. And it was good.
And then, out of frustration and hurt, I strayed away from that plan. I began to deliberately make very bad choices – many times out of my own sheer will to defy Him. I put myself on a very destructive path of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. My choices eventually led me into homelessness, an abusive marriage and abject poverty. The deeper I waded into dark waters, the more I would shake my fist at God and blame Him for the state of my life.
But it wasn’t His fault.
He gave me the promise of a good life filled with amazing things. That promise came to me in seed form. It was up to me to plant that seed in my heart and nurture it through obedience to Him and trust that the time to harvest that promise would come. When I began to be willful in disobeying Him, I stopped nurturing that seed and it lay dormant for many, many years.
I see that happen to so many people. God has made them promises, but life happens and they begin to doubt them. Doubt turns to discouragement, discouragement turns to despair and then they reject the promises completely and are left to wonder why life does not look the way they thought it would.
That pattern makes my heart ache.
It doesn’t have to be that way. When God makes you promises – when He gives you seeds for a life that will glorify Him – He has planted them in your heart. You don’t have to wonder if they will produce a harvest. They can and will transcend any circumstance you’re facing. But it is up to you to make sure that they do. You’ve got to tend your heart and allow those seeds to take root. Then you’ve got to nurture that seed with faith in and obedience to Him. And y’all, when the harvest is ready – when it’s time to see those promises “in real life” – you’ve got to be willing to do the work to bring in the harvest.
Here’s an example of what I mean by bringing in the harvest…
I believe that this blog is part of a fulfillment of a few promises He has made to me. I’ve purchased the domain name, found a hosting provider and created a website. Technically I have a blog, but let’s say that I never post a single post. Maybe I don’t feel worthy. Maybe I don’t feel like I have anything to say. Maybe I’m just busy. Whatever the reason, if I never write a blog post, I won’t be able to see His promises to me fully realized. You see? If I want to see His promises about this blog fulfilled, I’ve got to be willing to co-labor with Him and put in the work!
Don’t misunderstand me, we never have to manipulate, scheme or hurt people to experience the fullness of life that He has promised us, but to think that we don’t need to do anything is very irresponsible. God is all about equipping us to be victorious in this life, not doing it for us. And if you think about it, is there really any better way to things? Hard work in and of itself builds confidence, so can you imagine what working hard with the Father does? Ya. The benefits are endless.