A PATIENT SPIRITUAL FARMER
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
James is addressing suffering saints when he wrote. It was time during the Covid 19 pandemic time, he addressing saints living during this time. He is addressing people who have many spiritual and personal questions. They have got questions more than answers. They are face different battles of life. As he begins with this letter, his word are count it joy. His is talking about patience during trial and testing times. (Jam 1:1-5). The scripture that we have ready reminds us of the coming of the coming of our Lord Jesus in James 5:7-9. This is the blessed hope that Paul speaks about ton Titus in Titus 2:13 “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”
Patience means to stay put and stand fast when you want to run away. How can Christians experience this kind enduring patience as we wait for the Lord’s return? If a man is not patient, he better be not a Farmer. No crop appears overnight (except the crop is a weed). A farmer must be patient with the weather. Not everyone can do cloud seeding. Even those that can do it, cannot do it daily. A farmer does not know when it will rain and when it will not, though we have got weather forecasting.
A farmer must be patient with the seed and crop, for it takes time for plants to grow. Jewish farmers would plough and sow in Autumn months. The early rain will soften the soil. The latter rains would come early Spring (Feb –Mar) and help mature the crop. Every farmer depends on God’s provision of good weather. This year we have got plenty of rain in GTA, I don’t know if it’s the same in other provinces. Too much rain can cause the crop to rot, to little can cause a drought, and frost kills the crop. Farmers have got faith and patience. Faith involves trusting God with what you cannot control. When it comes to the Lords coming and the injustices that surrounds us, like a farmer let’s trust God with what we cannot control, while honoring God with what we can control.
Grumbling and Complaining:
A farmer does get into fights with his neighbor. While we wait patiently and endure trials, we will be tempted to sin. James talks about grumbling against one another. We will be tempted to complain against one another, but we must resist this sin. Imagine whilst you are grumbling the judge is standing at the door and He enters inside. There will be no explanation. Remember the Judge is coming. We want to be found faithful with what we can control. One of the marks of a farmer is their willingness to help one another. Nobody on the farmer have got time and energy for disputes and with the neighbour. Don’t grumble. Impatient with God often leads to impatience with God’s people. This is a sin we must avoid. If we start using sickles for each other, we will miss the Harvest. Our waiting have got a condition, “Until the coming of the Lord”
Like a Farmer trust God that the harvest he brings in His time is worthy the wait. The fruit is worth the wait. Let's be patient like Job, hoping for God’s glory and purpose. Job 42:5-6 ”I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Whatever you are going through is not the end of the story. The end will reveal that the Lord is indeed “very compassionate and merciful”. Even if you cant see it, be patient. Hoping in the purpose of God. A farmer does not just sit waiting for rain. He works. Patience does not necessarily mean in activity. In the midst of confusion, we are to continue working and to speak about the goodness and greatness of the Lord, and also the judgement and mercy of God. God expects us to work. We are spiritual farmers, we don’t stop working because of circumstance. We work in prayer, reading the word and in our lives and workplaces.
Proverbs 20:4 “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.”
Proverbs 24:30-34 “30 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.”
God expects us to work. Genesis 2:15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
As we work let’s be expectant of results but the first step we must have before the coming of the Lord and any result is patience. Patience like a farmer. A patience farmer trusts God in any circumstance.
Mark 4:26-29 “26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Everything that you did put on the ground, is going to germinate.
Prepare the Ground:
A farmer prepares the ground before seeding by tiling/ploughing it, levelling it and feeding it with manure before planting any seed because you cannot put seed to a hard ground or unprepared ground with unfertile soil. No Farmer will plant a seed on an unprepared ground. Let’s every seed that farmer is proved and treated seed. It’s the precious seed. Different crops are planted from acre to acre depending on the needs, plan and aim of the farmer. Some acres have got vegetables, some maize crop, sorghum, sugar cane, cotton, soya beans and whatever is necessary. After planting the farmer monitors the soil. He cultivates it to loosen it making sure there is aeration. He searches and looks for weeds and removes the weeds. He scrutinizes it for signs of pest and worms. The farmer does all this work knowing something by faith; the precious fruit/crop.
Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:6 “The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.” This encourages and motivates the farmer to do the work. The fruit, the crop, the joy and the beauty of the harvest. Regardless of what you are going through, I want you to think of the breakthrough you praying and believing God for. What should encourage us is our envisioned breakthrough. The fruit keeps us going.
Paul also goes on to encourage us in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
NO FARMER WILL PUT SEED ON AN UNPREPARED GROUND
A Farmer does not Give Up:
Sometimes we get weary in doing good as we continue to plant and wait for growth and harvest. We are now almost about 5 years of planting and growing AFM in Canada, and I am staring ahead of more years of cultivating, weeding and watering. I feel like a farmer who have enjoyed good crop, looking at bare fields, preparing to start the planting cycle all over again. There is so much work to done. How do I continue in all that God has called me to do without growing weary, especially when the work is demanding, and the harvest appear so far into the future. One thing that I noted as I was reading the scripture and from my little skills as a farmer is that a farmer has an unwavered commitment to the Harvest. Whenever I am getting weary, I see churches in everywhere province and city in my spirit.
My mum is a farmer on our small plot in Zimbabwe. Sometimes we used to wake us up and plough quite early in the morning (dawn hours). She used wake us up early in the morning to plough the field. Since it was early in the morning as kids we would grumble. Because of the grumbling/complaining and also our bodies that were weary the first furrows where a struggle, but as we made more rounds every furrow would get better one after the other. When we were weeding, we would wake up early in the morning as well. Nobody would wake her (my mum) up because she didn’t have an alarm. Though we had watches, but they did have alarms that we set to assist or alert us. Commitment is one of the things that drove her. When you farm, you are connected to the specific land, you must invest in expensive equipment, time, a community and often times history. A farmer has got deep roots of understanding and in perspective a bigger picture. He knows every weed rooted and finds the correct weed killer. He also knows the type of manure or fertilizer that he/she should feed his soils with. He knows the type of plants or crops that grow well and gives him a better harvest in his soil or area. He knows temperamental plants and good plants. Not all plants are good for the soil. Some plants will corrupt and destroy soil. Good skills of crop rotation are required. All this comes from commitment. Instant fruit, Instant growth, instant reward can never be the goal but rather a steady pace over a long haul. Though we are eating a lot of genetic modified food from genetic modified plants they have a lot of disadvantages. are easily affected. I found some disadvantages on GMOs which I believe corelate to our spirituality.
(1) The pollen from the genetically modified plants is also contaminated. When this pollen is around other plants, even things like grass or weeds, they cross pollinate. This could develop “superweeds” that have the same resistance properties as the crops. “False teaching does not simply encourage intellectual error, it also corrupts the soul.”
(2) Ever since the introduction of GMO foods, the amount of childhood food allergies has risen significantly. “Sound doctrine is important for the sake of godly living and the protection of the church’s very life. Yes, the cultivation of godliness is by divine grace, but we have to yearn it.”
(3) They make many antibiotics less effective.
At the center of Christian life is the commitment to self death. Farming is back breaking work, dirty work and detail work with good results. Without farming the whole would be in hunger and will not sustainable. Farming is necessary, we need it because we need food. When you see a farmer from ploughing a field, his looks are desirable. The clothes that they put on when planting and when harvesting are different. Even when you see a field that have just been ploughed it looks like a desert but when the crop grows it’s beautiful. I love to green fields but let’s remember before it was green it was once plain. It looked like a desert.
There is always a waiting period in patience. James 5:7b says, “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” How many prayers have you nullified yourself whilst you were in the waiting period, verse 8 says “You also be patient.” My word to you today is be patient like a farmer. Spiritual farmer trust the Lord, therefore continue to, Establish your hearts…” Ladies and Gentlemen, brethren in Christ, as we await on the precious fruits from our planting and seeding times, one of the most precious fruit among many others is the blessed hope to see our Lord and only Saviour Jesus Christ.
I want to encourage you to continue establish your heart, for the coming of the Lord. For he will come like a thief in the night. Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” Paul says, (1 Thessalonians 5:2) “For you are fully aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:4) But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief.” We are already warning about this day. Let’s be prepared for no one knows the hour of the time (Mark 13:32, Matthew 24:36). Prepare the ground and commit to it.
Work and Walk by Faith (Hebrews 11 and Psalms 91):
Too much rain and windy can destroy the crop. Too much sun can cause a drought. Most plants won't survive in winter. When a seed is put into the ground it should dies to self in order to germinate and produce a blade. In other words a seed is full of the potential of life but it converts that as it becomes a plant! From the "potential" of life that is contained inside the seed comes another life, equipped for creating organic product, a plant. Where a seed can't deliver natural product or fruit, it's plant structure can. It can't do this all alone, however, it should be planted, supported, and fed. As Spiritual farmers let’s trust God with what we cannot control, while honoring him with what we can control
Scripture in Ecclesiastes 11:1 encourages us to, “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.” in verse 4-5 it says, “4 He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. 5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.”
To walk and work in faith is all we can do. Let us learn to trust God despite of what we are seeing today. “The righteous shall live by faith”
My bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Galatians 5:25 “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
The Precious Fruit:
Why is the Farmer willing to wait long? It is because of the precious fruit, the unique precious reward. What make a farmer to fix burst pipes, irrigation canals, add manure, pesticides, weed control is the focus on the precious reward, fruit and harvest. The most satisfying time of a farmer is when he fixes broken canals, adding fertilizer, adding manure, pesticides, weed killer and fixing burst pipes. The reward is always in sight and thought whilst he is doing all this laborious work. Do you know we have got many crowns waiting for us as believers if we persevere; we have the Crown of life (Jam 1:12, Rev 2:10), Incorruptible/Imperishable crown (1 Cor 9:25), Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess 2:19), Crown of Glory (1 Pet 5:4) and Crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:8) for believers.
We need to continue trusting God for His providence and His constant goodness. The greatest satisfaction is on a farmer or someone who puts it all for the crop. There is joy in are farmer in what he cannot see. One tiny seed become a huge plant that can produce thousand-fold of seeds. Those prayers can change your world and multiply. The harvest multiplies itself and sold into the world where he will never see the end user. Don’t get weary remember the precious fruit, crop and harvest. In summary if you buy bread just remember a farmer planted the seed, harvested the wheat, the wheat became flour and someone baked bread from that seed. The same bread which was once a seed is now on the shelf and someone is buying it. When you get weary, I want you to remember the farmer and his huge influence. Your prayer is a seed. Spiritual Farmer your seed have a huge impact, I just urging you to be patient like a natural farmer who waits patiently for the harvest.
All your seeds shall give you a huge and powerful harvest. I pray for your patience whist we wait for the harvest. Let’s keep a deep root and bigger picture in mind. The harvest is worthy waiting for. In due season we shall reap if we faint not. Mark 4:28-29 “28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
James is picturing a Spiritual farmer waiting a Spiritual Harvest. There are seasons to spirit just like there are seasons to the soil. Sometimes the hearts become cold and wintry, and the Lord has to plough them before he can plant seed. In Christian life there are four standard necessities. These are (1) the sower, (2) the seed, (3) the soil and (4) the spirit. These remain constant. I will refer you to the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) for the meaning of these.
God is producing a harvest in our lives. He wants the fruit of the spirit to grow (Gal 5:22-23). Instead of growing impatient with God and with ourselves, we must yield to the Lord and permit the fruit to grow. We are spiritual farmers looking for a spiritual harvest. If the fruit is precious to you, you can willingly wait for it.
You can enjoy this harvest only if your heart is established (Jam 5:8). One of the spiritual ministry in church is to establish the heart. The ministry of the word of God and prayer are important if the heart is going to establish. A heart that is not established can not bear fruits. Luke 12:43 “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” I don’t what you plant as a seed this year. I want us to pray together. It might be a seed of prayer, giving and service. Whatever it is let us pray. Whatever you planted to Lord it shall germinate in Jesus Christ’s name.
Psalm 126:6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Let us pray to the Lord that gives growth. Paul says, 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 ”I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.”
Jesus says, ““I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 “… He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,”
Luke 6:38 “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
PLEASE FORGIVE FOR ANY TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. I WILL EDIT IT LATTER.