So far we have observed that Jesus' missionary strategy consisted of developing a team concept, the disciples and the 72 were to go out 2 by 2. We then see that Jesus had a plan of where he was about to go and he sent his disciples out to prepare the way. We see this same pattern among the disciples in the book of Acts. They also went out in teams of at least two people and we see that, in particular, the Apostle Paul had a very clear plan of where he wanted to go. This plan however, was always subject to change based upon the guiding and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Now we come to the third part of Jesus' strategy which is prayer. In this verse Jesus stated an observation that he has made:
In other words there are a whole lot of people ready and prepared to repent and follow Jesus but there is just one problem! There's not enough people to share the good news of God's forgiveness of sin to the people ready to receive it.
The same is true today. There are people all over this country sick and tired of their sinful condition. They are fed up with the mess their sinfulness has made of their lives. But they also feel helpless because they know there is nothing they can do to change their situation. And they feel hopeless because they know there is nothing anyone else can do to make a difference. They have tried all the self-help books, all the court mandated meetings, counseling and even behavioral modification all to no avail. But as Christians we have the good news that can change their lives and we have the keys that can unchain them from the slavery of sin that has held them captive.
We still don't have enough workers in harvest fields.
So what are we suppose to do? Are we to allow the fruit to remain on the vine to rot? Are we to guilt people who claim to be Christians but never share their faith to come join us? What are we to do? And just as we are asking this question the words of Jesus comes echoing out of the pages.
Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers. There is a very important point that needs to be made! It is not our job to call other Christians to work in the harvest field! We are not to beg them, guilt them or bribe them. IT'S NOT OUR JOB! It is not our job to go out and pick who we want to join us on this mission of gathering in the souls that God has prepared. Again I will say it,
Listen carefully as I say this! It is the responsibility of the LORD OF THE HARVEST to recruit and gather his team of harvesters. IT'S GOD'S JOB NOT OURS! Our part to play is to pray and to plead with the God to send more workers. We are to pray as we go out into the fields to reap the harvest. We are to pray while we are harvesting.
So often as we read this verse from a 21st century perspective. We feel that God is going to raise up these new workers from those Christians who are pew sitters. Somehow we feel that God is going to spiritually arouse them where they will have this unquenchable motivation to go out and share. But if we were the disciples hearing Jesus say this words while living in the 1st century we would quickly realize that there were no other Christians sitting and warming the pews. All of the followers of Jesus, at that time, were actively involved in reaping the harvest. So Jesus could not have been asking his disciple to pray to God to motivate those bench warming dead Christians to come out and help. There were no bench warming dead Christians to arouse.
So who were those workers that Jesus asked us to pray for to come and help us? They were men and women who were not even believers in Christ yet but whom God has prepared to follow Jesus. The answer to the prayers would not come from within the church but from within the harvest. The new laborers would be those men and women who have recently decided to follow Christ.
- How diligently are you praying to God to send more people into the harvest who recently came out of the harvest?
- Are you actively praying while you are actively harvesting? Or are you just waiting to begin the harvesting once God brings more people to join the work?
- Are you actively looking for those people that God is raising up out of the harvest to be those co-laborers in the harvest fields?
- Whom have you reach recently for Christ that you can team up with and show how they can reap the harvest also?
- What fruit (person) are you going to investigate today to see if they are ripe for harvest?
and pray for God to send more laborers.