Solomon said that there is a time and season for everything under heaven. Paul spoke about a due season for reaping if we don’t give up. For those of us who have been doing good for others, the season has come for us to reap the harvest. Let’s consider the conception of a baby and the duration of the pregnancy until the time for delivery. Women go through trimesters until they reach the final trimester when their baby will push their way into the world. Outside of the physical birthing of a child is the birthing of dreams, goals, visions, projects and seeing ambitions come to reality. Most of us know what it feels like to be pregnant with a dream or desire for something good. Something that will change our lives and cause us to break into that desired reality.
Isaiah also made reference to the children of Israel being like a woman in labour. He wrote that before Israel was in labour, she gave birth. Before her pain came upon her, she delivered a son. Isaiah’s reference was to Zion not having to labour to give birth as her child came forth immediately when she went into labour. He goes on to say, “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the Lord; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God” (Isaiah 66:9). God is saying that he will not give us an idea or a dream and not allow us to bring it to fruition.
In other words God is saying that we will not go past our due season. Unfortunately, some woman have gone over their due dates and have had to have labour induced in order to give birth. I declare that we will not go past our due date for the fulfilment and the manifestation of our dreams. We will give birth in this due season and bring to pass what God has promised.
We declare a due season is here for us to reap a harvest of blessings. This is our season of birthing of opportunities, companies, promotions, increase, favour and blessings. Tap into this due season and reap your harvest. We will also reap from places where we did not sow a harvest because God is faithful to allow everyone to benefit from the harvest. Many children reap a harvest from the seeds of righteousness sown by their parents. “I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:38).
After Jesus appointed and commissioned the twelve apostles, he appointed another seventy two disciples. He sent out the disciples in pairs and encouraged them to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers into his harvest field. This harvest that Jesus was referring to, was not a harvest of crops, but a harvest of souls. He considered the cities and villages that were around him as the harvest fields. Within these places, Jesus knew that people needed to hear the gospel of salvation. This was in order to convert souls to the kingdom of God.
We are still expected to carry out the great commission in these days of harvest. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). This includes teaching the world about Jesus Christ and his works. Jesus also promised that we would do even greater works than the ones he did while he was on earth. Jesus was also clear about the signs that would accompany all who believe in him and accept his message. “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues” (Mark 16:17).
Jesus also promised that we would lay hands on the sick and they would recover, pick up serpents by hands and drink deadly poison and it shall not harm us. We are called to serve God and to call in the harvest of souls. As we work for God, we also pray for God to send labourers to help in the harvest field. We ask God to send destiny helpers to assist us with carrying out our dominion mandate. In addition to lost souls, I also believe that there is a harvest of the seeds that we have sown. God is faithful to his promise that whatever a man sows, that he will reap (Galatians 6:7).
God will not forget our labour of love and the good work that we have done to bless the lives of others. We also call forth the harvest from where we have sown. No one plants a field and leaves it alone during the harvest season. In as much as he is diligent in sowing, he also needs to be diligent in reaping so that the harvest will not rot. We harvest by putting God in remembrance of his promises over our lives. God is waiting for us to approach his throne and bring our case before him. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16).
I like the story in Mark when Jesus told his disciples to come away from the crowds and rest for a while. As Jesus’s ministry became busy, he was daily thronged by the crowds who wanted to see, hear and touch him to get healing from all of their infirmities. He modelled for his disciples the need to take the time to rest in between ministry in order to prevent burn out. Even God himself in the creation story worked six days and then on the seventh day rested. I don’t believe that God was tired, but he wanted to model for us the necessity of rest and recovery.
You cannot work seven days a week and have a balanced lifestyle. If you do then one area of your life is bound to suffer as well as your health and emotional well-being. Along with the weekly rest on weekends, most companies have built in annual leave for people to schedule breaks from work to recuperate. Solomon spoke of the importance of a time and place for everything which includes times for work and times for rest. We have to learn to be kind to ourselves and listen when our body is saying that it is tired and needs rest. Some people are a bit more hyperactive or energetic than others and different personality types prefer busier over sedentary lifestyles.
Some cities and countries have different levels of productivity and cities have prized themselves on being ‘the city that never sleeps.’ Some people even brag about being able to survive on a few hours sleep daily. Even the bible warns against these lifestyle practices and encourages rest and sleep. “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). Yes my friends, sound sleep and rest is recommended in scripture.
Beyond the concept of physical sleep is the concept of rest which comes from learning to be content. This is because it is possible to sleep and still feel tired because we are unsettled. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). This also comes from being at peace with ourselves and with God. This happens when we have prayed about everything so that we don’t hold unto any anxieties. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
When we consider the word establish, we think of something being made permanent, firmly fixed or planted so that it cannot be moved or disturbed. Many times in scripture, God used the word establish to refer to his people as it relates to establishing his covenant. In Isaiah, God spoke concerning his covenant of peace towards his people. God promised that his people would posses the nations and be far from oppression. “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you” (Isaiah 54:14). God also promised his people that no weapons that formed against them would prosper and every tongue that rose up against them in judgement would be condemned.
God also promised to establish the work of our hands so that whatever we put our hands to will prosper. We live to establish the kingdom of God and to rule and reign on the earth. God grants us divine favour to do his will and he also provides for all of our needs to bring his will to pass. Whatever we do for God will last into eternity as we lay up treasures in heaven. God is still establishing covenants of peace with his children in this time and we walk in the covenant promises that he made to us in the bible. When we make a decision to serve God and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and saviour, we come into a covenant relationship with God.
We make a covenant to serve God for the rest of our lives, to allow God to be Lord of our lives, to renounce all other Gods and the works of darkness and to listen and obey his voice. We accept the gift of the Holy Spirit and accept that God can make his home in our hearts. Accepting Jesus means establishing a relationship with God and living in covenant relationship with him. Becoming children of God means that we live under an open heaven and God will make specific promises to each of his children. These promises are covenant promises which come to pass once we are obedient and stay in the will of God. God will establish his word and although we sometimes have to wait to see the manifestation, we can rest assured that God will bring his word to pass.
“Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it”” (Jeremiah 1:12).
The Holy Spirit empowers us to fulfil our assignment on earth. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus coming on earth and spoke of the gifts that the Holy Spirit would empower him with. And these same gifts are given to us as believers when we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of wisdom and understanding to be able to solve problems and to navigate situations. This relates to supernatural revelation knowledge that comes from God to his children on earth. “asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God” (Ephesians 1:17).
The second characteristic relates to counsel and might which relates to providing direction and building strength. The Holy Spirit is our guide and directs the steps of the believer. He also gives us strength in the inner man to be able to stand against tests and trials. The Holy Spirit also empowers the believer with supernatural abilities to perform miracles. “they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit would empower us to cast out demons and speak with new tongues.
The Holy Spirit himself rested upon Jesus and empowered his ministry on the earth. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). This scroll written by Isaiah was read by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19, to confirm that the word had come to pass. We have also been empowered to preach the gospel, to bind up the broken hearted and to bring freedom to those who are bound and oppressed.
The third characteristic of the Holy Spirit is the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. We don’t have to rely on our own strength and our human knowledge and qualifications to do the will of God. This releases us from the pressure of comparison and the need to try to measure up to others. There is no competition when it comes to fulfilling the mandate that is on your life. As long as you are in the will of God, then no one can circumvent the assignment that God has for you. No one can do what you were born to do or take the place of your calling. Rest in knowing that what God has for you, he has given you the strength through the Holy Spirit to bring it to past.
Paul taught the church about the need for the solid food of the word to sustain us and to help us to train our spiritual senses. When our senses are trained and developed, then we have the ability to discern who is of God and those who are operating under the influence of this world. We cannot afford to remain immature in this season and be deceived by the enemy. To be discerning means to demonstrate good judgement in choosing our friends and acquaintances. “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
Many people in Jesus’s home town could not see past his birth to a carpenter. They missed out on benefitting from his amazing ministry and experiencing many of the miracles that he performed because they could not see past his beginning. How many of us have counted out people because they did not start out in a way that we considered significant? Only God determines the end from the beginning and we need eyes trained to see in the way that God sees. “Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish” (Isaiah 46:10).
The bible even warns us to be careful to entertain strangers for some have entertained angels without knowing it. It is discernment that helps us to determine those people who have been sent to us as destiny helpers. A snobbish attitude can push away people who genuinely want to be of service to you. Don’t just take people at face value, but ask God to reveal why people have come into your life for such a time as this. Some opportunities don’t come packaged in the label that we would expect. It was David’s meeting with Goliath that set him on a path towards destiny.
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Elisha the prophet was so in tune with the voice of God that he could supernaturally hear conversations that the King of Syria had in his bedroom. Elisha used this information to gain an advantage for Israel when Syria made war against them. We see other places in the bible where God revealed to prophets and people of God, information relevant to other people. Oftentimes Jesus could hear the thoughts of the Pharisees who stood in judgment of his teachings.
“When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts” (Luke 5:22)? In this chapter, the Pharisees did not even speak what was on their hearts. Nevertheless, Jesus could hear what they were thinking. We also saw in Acts when Peter knew when Ananias and Sapphira conspired to lie about their offering. “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land” (Acts 5:3)? No one told Peter what Ananias and Sapphira had done, but the Holy Spirit revealed their conspiracy.
There were other places in the bible when angels warned of impending danger and conspiracy against God’s people. Herod intended to find out about the location of Jesus so that he could kill him. He lied to the wise men to trick them into giving away his location. “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way” (Matthew 2:12). The wise men avoided any harm coming to Jesus because they heard from God.
The enemy wants nothing but to cause harm and difficulties in the life of the believer. God wants to protect us, keep us safe and help us in our day to day interactions. God will give us information to give us an advantage over the enemy. Sometimes God can reveal when someone is ill or in trouble in order for you to help them. Sometimes God will give us visions to warn us for our protection or the protection of others. There are times when God will show you information about other people’s life and past experiences. This is never for the purpose of showing us so that we can hold this over others. He shows us for the purpose of ministering healing and deliverance.
“he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:22).
Stop worrying about provision. Stop worry about how God is going to open the closed door. Stop worrying about how that difficult situation is going to work itself out. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matthew 6:27)? Anxiety is a spirit and the devil wants to wear us out with stress and worry. Paul said, do not be anxious about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). If it is significant enough to cause you worry then you need to start praying. Don’t stop praying until the worry goes away. Once you have prayed and you believe that God has heard you, then you praise him and thank him in advance for the answer.
Taking on another job will not meet your needs any faster than God can. If you have the energy to manage a side business with a view to transition out of full-time employment, with the right strategy, this can reap major benefits. However, if you are grabbing at every opportunity that comes along to make an extra dollar, then you will wear yourself out with exhaustion. Is there any point in making money that you won’t have the health and peace of mind to enjoy? “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). I interpret this verse to mean that the wealth that comes from God does not include painful toil and weariness.
The biblical wealth system is centred around the law of sowing and reaping and faith to receive. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Paul also said, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). We work and trust God to bless the work of our hands. His word says that whatever we do will prosper. A gift surrendered to God will bring us before people of prominence. We are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath and as children of God we have access to his never ending supply of good things.
There are times when we need to stay in faith or increase our faith in order to receive what God has already supplied to us. God is not keeping back anything from us but we need faith to take hold of what already belongs to us. The entrance of the word gives light to the darkness and opens our understanding to be able to access the things of the spirit. Your needs were supplied before you were even created. “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:8).
Paul spoke about forgetting what was behind him and straining towards what was ahead. There are promises that God has declared over us and we are in a season of the manifestation of promises. Sometimes the challenges of the past, things that people did or said can weigh us down and cause us to dwell on them. We will not be able to move forward if we continue to dwell on what happened in our past. There are seasons to reflect and to discuss what we experienced. This should be for the purpose of extracting the lessons from the experiences. That and finding a resolution for what happened.
Once we have spent the time reflecting, we have to move forward. Have you ever caught up with an old friend who you didn’t see for years and the conversations felt exactly the same? Sometimes this can be a good thing and can feel quite nostalgic. Other times this can be stagnant or redundant especially when the line of discussion is immature. I have walked away from conversations like that marvelling about people’s inability to grow and move forward. This is especially when people are still regurgitating past hurts.
Being stuck on past mistakes and hurts can lead to bitterness and resentment. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). I can appreciate that some abuses are difficult to get over and we may need the help of a Therapist to help us to work through them. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Counsellor who can heal both mind and emotions. We have to be determined to push forward even when it hurts. The only way to make progress is to keep moving and to continue to place one foot in front of the other.
We may not always feel like we are making big strides. Some seasons will feel like smooth sailing and prayers seem quickly answered. There are other seasons when it feels difficult and almost like an uphill climb. Victory is ahead of this mountain and as we continue to push ahead, we will make it to the other side of this season. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).
Jesus made the promise to his disciples throughout his time with them, that they would receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After his resurrection, he appeared to his disciples and before his ascension, he reminded them of the promise. The instruction was that they should remain in the city until they received the indwelling. During Jesus’s time on earth, he ministered through the power of the Holy Spirit. “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). It was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus to be tempted by the devil.
After his fasting for forty days in the wilderness and his successful resistance of the enemy, Jesus returned with even more power to minister. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about” (Luke 4:14). The Holy Spirit gave Jesus the power to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed and to work many miracles. The most amazing thing to me is that although Jesus is of the God head, he relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
He taught his disciples that he needed to return to the father so that the Holy Spirit could come to them. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). The disciples did not see Jesus leaving them as an advantage. They had become accustomed to having him around to show them how to walk in authority. Many great teachers will step back from their students in order to encourage them to grow. Moreover Jesus in human flesh was limited by time and space and could not be everywhere all at the same time.
The Holy Spirit is God in his omnipresence and lives inside of every believer in every part of the world. The Holy Spirit transcends space, time, language, region, geography and manifests himself through signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit is our Guide, Friend, Comforter, Counsellor, Teacher and supernatural strength. He is our connection to God and is God himself living in us. We have the advantage when we listen and are led by the Holy Spirit as he guides us into all truth. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).