Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Time of Unprecedented Acceleration

Recently, as I was going about my day I heard the phrase "The plowman will overtake the reaper". I had heard this scripture before many times, but I must admit it has always been a bit of a mystery to me. To be honest, I had always found the whole verse a bit confusing.

But, today I felt the Lord was inviting me to take a closer look, so I did.

Here is the scripture passage where the phrase is found:

     "The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when the reaper will be overtaken
      by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will
      drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills." Amos 9:13

As I took a closer look, I soon began to realize that this verse is a beautiful picture of the great harvest we all are anticipating. Because I had been so used to skimming over the verse without pausing to consider what all it involves, I took some time to try and picture everything.

If we are stepping into the season where the plowman overtakes the reaper, then basically it means that the harvest will be SO GREAT that the ones reaping, or bringing the harvest in will have a massive amount of work to do. It will be so great a harvest and come in so quickly that the one who plows up the ground for planting the next crop (those who pray and sow the seeds), will overtake those who are still gathering the harvest from the last crop. What an incredible picture!

But, it gets better. The next part of the verse was even more confusing to me. How could the planter of the grapes be overtaken by the one treading the grapes? There is no good explanation except that a SUPERNATURAL ACCELERATION is taking place where there will hardly be any time at all between the time a seed is planted in someone's heart to the time it will bear fruit unto salvation.

The last part of the verse remarkably exceeds the other two. New wine will actually"drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills", indicating an even greater level of supernatural involvement of Heaven coming to earth. It bypasses the planting and reaping process altogether, as the wine amazingly flows from the hills.

I've been around the church long enough to see lots of evangelistic campaigns come and go. These campaigns have been great and brought in a measure of harvest for the kingdom. But, I feel that what is coming will be so BEYOND man's abilities and efforts to produce a harvest that everyone will recognize it is a God thing.

So, what is our part to play?

First, we can partner with the Spirit of God to pray in the harvest that we all long to see. In a very real sense, we are like the ones sowing. As we pray, we sow seed into the harvest that will surely come. We acknowledge that apart from His coming and pouring out His Spirit, we will not see the fruit we desire to see.

Second, we prepare. Just like parents who prepare their nursery and home for the birth of a child, we should be anticipating the arrival of the new ones who are going to be coming into the kingdom. How will we take care of them? How will we disciple, equip, raise them up, and release them? We will need strategies from Heaven in order to steward well the coming harvest.

Third, we faithfully work the fields until the Spirit of the Lord comes like in Amos 9:13. There isn't any mention in this verse of sitting on the sidelines until this day comes. Those who are going about their daily work of plowing, planting, reaping and treading will most likely be the first to experience the influx of the great harvest. The miracles will begin to happen right before their eyes and through their hands.

I am reminded of a movie I saw years ago about the Amish community. When the harvest of one farm was ready, they would ring a bell that could be heard at a great distance. When men, women, and children from the community heard the bell, they would drop what they were doing and head to the farm to help gather in the harvest. This scene was such an amazing prophetic picture of the coming great harvest. It will take the entire Body of Christ partnering together to gather the harvest, because it will be so great.

Amos 9:13 is a picture of Divine blessing, favor, and acceleration. I am so stirred to partner with the Holy Spirit to see this season come where the the "plowman overtakes the reaper". 

Holy Spirit fall on your church to arouse every heart to hunger for You and align with the plans and purposes of Heaven. Shore up every weak place, man every station, and raise up the sowers and harvesters to work the fields. May your new wine drip from the mountains and flow down from the hills.