When you think of harvesting, what do you think of? Do you think about the parable of the weeds? Do you think about a certain time, an idea, or a type of person?
Harvest comes from the Greek word therismos, and according to the Thayer’s Lexicon definition it speaks of
“the gathering of men into the kingdom of God.”
So how do we as harvesters, messengers of the gospel, prepare to go out and gather the harvest? This happens in multiple ways such as studying and intentional fasting. It all comes down to having a heart for souls. The main goal is not to fill every seat, but it’s to bring healing to every soul through the revelation of the Word.
Getting Filled So That You Can Fill Others
Studying and ruminating on the Word of God is showing yourself approved. At the same time, we also don’t want to hoard our talents. That being said, we are called to do the work by multiplying the understanding of scriptures by spreading the gospel. Jesus came to bring an understanding to the letter, and not everyone agreed with Him here on Earth. In the same way, the harvester must go through every situation with inexhaustible patience.
2 Timothy 4:5 “But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.”
Paul is saying that people would rather have their ears tickled with ideas and beliefs that are convenient to themselves (2 Timothy 4:3), therefore he addresses the importance of staying clear-headed and enduring every hardship no matter what speaking the truth may bring (2 Timothy 4:5). The true word of God is inconvenient to the flesh, but restoring to the heart and to the mind.
Fasting kills the flesh and brings us into a state of focusing on the will of the Father. It teaches us to resort to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, especially when ministering to others. In the book of Acts, Barnabas and Saul (Paul) were sent off after they were serving the Lord and fasting (Acts 13:2). It was after this that they were sent out to do the work that the Lord had called them to do.
Acts 13:3 “Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them [in approval and dedication] and sent them away [on their first journey].”
“Their hands”, according to the Word Study definition, also means to lay hands upon;
“the expression was used as the symbol of healing power.”
Not only were they prepared, they were sensitive in listening to the Holy Spirit to guide and direct their path. Fasting is not only being abstinent from food, it’s also casting down our own agendas, our own reasoning, and our own expectations. This allows us to become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in order to guide us in every decision we make. We want the Holy Spirit to lead every conversation to a place where real breakthroughs can happen, and true healing can take place.
A Heart for Souls
Everything about a harvester is circulated around a heart for souls and a heart for truth. Everyone is searching for answers no matter what they look like. It is the harvester’s job to identify the need of the soul while reflecting Christ in every conversation. Studying scripture and intentionally fasting helps the direction by removing the flesh from the equation, and letting the Lord speak through the vessel. People are hungry for the truth, they want answers, and we have answers to give them.
“The heart of the harvester cries out to the Lord of the harvest.” – Apostle Michael Petro