God’s timing, revival and the harvest – Part 13
Divine timing in revival and the harvest of souls is an interesting relationship. This is why God is the Lord of the harvest. He determines the time of revival, the circumstances and methods of the harvest. Everything about revival and the harvest is squarely in God’s Hands. Jeremiah is very accurate about the relationship between Divine timing and the harvest, “They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right” (Jeremiah 5: 24 NLT). Also read Isaiah 28: 23-29. He agrees with our assertion about the harmony between God’s timing and the harvest.
Now, just consider all these facts about God’s actions regarding the harvest. God is the Lord of the harvest. He thrust out labourers in response to our prayer. “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9: 37-38 NKJV).
God determines the harvest field. He made sure Paul did not go to Mysia when he wanted to, but rather went to Macedonia. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now, after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts16:6-10 NKJV).
God sends out labourers to the right harvest fields to reap the ripe souls. He sent Philip to Samaria to ignite a great revival and later sent him to the Ethiopian eunuch to preach to him (Acts 8:4-13, 26-31). He sent Peter to the house of the Centurion to minister to the Gentiles and for the first time, Gentiles were baptised in the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:9-33).
God empowers and equips the labourer to go out to the harvest field. He empowered the disciples on the day of Pentecost. He still empowers Christians today.
He determines and gives the results and the increase of the harvest. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” (I Corinthians3: 6-7 NKJV ).
He orchestrates the circumstances of the harvest. At Philippi, Paul met Lydia of Thyatira, a woman whom God opened her heart to believe the things Paul preached about God. (Acts 16:11-15). Also at Philippi, God allowed Paul and Silas to be thrown into the jail in Philippi because of His purpose. And when they sang and prayed at night, He sent an earthquake to release them. Through the circumstances of their sufferings, the jailer and his household were all saved (Acts 16:25-35).
Though God acts sovereignly on the matter of revival and the harvest, yet it does not absolve man of his responsibilities in preaching the gospel to souls until they get saved. These simply point to the fact that man is in a partnership with God when it comes to revival and the harvest.
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