The day before I was blessed to be part of a faith-building sports camp held in memory of my niece. Testimonies were shared, truth was proclaimed and fun was had. Young people shared from their heart and asked questions that were deep...it was a good day. Seeds were planted and we pray fruit will grow.
These prayers are vital, but my night in the field reminded me the work is not yet done. When we put corn and bean seed in the ground we don't just leave it til fall; friend, something similar could be said about the spiritual seed we plant.
Clearly, they're will be no harvest without seeds planted, but our crop is better when we do the hard work of soil tilling, rock removal and weed pulling. This takes time and effort, but it's work God rewards. He will do the same in the spiritual fields.
Stop with me for a minute and think about these questions - What seeds do you plant? How do you follow up your efforts? Are there rocks you could pick or weeds you could pull? Is there cultivating to do?
Friend, our situations may be different, but some of our answers could be similar. The biggest thing we can do after we plant, is what we probably did before - PRAY. I've been a part of different ministry events and have heard it said, "Pray more than you prepare." This is great advice and I think we could add to it - "Pray as you reflect and rejoice."
It's easy to walk away from an event where we've sensed God's presence and be grateful for all God's done. This is a good thing to do, but my time in the field reminded me it's not the last thing we should do. A farmer never plants a field, leaves it and returns with a combine months later. Believe me, farmers like to check on their crops and spiritually, I pray we have a similar desire to follow up on the seeds we've planted.
This isn't possible in every situation, but in the instances it is, we should be diligent to pray, invest in relationships, til soil, share Truth and water the seed.
Ultimately, the words Paul shared in 1 Corinthians 3:6 are true. He says, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." Only God can cause something that is dead to grow, only He can take what is small and produce a harvest that is large and only God can know the timing it all takes. But as farmers of spiritual fields, there are things we can do after we plant. I encourage you to be mindful and prayerful of the process. Ask God to show you what work you can do to nourish the crop He is growing. Look for ways to remove the rocks of temptation and weeds of sin.
The hearts we plant into are a bit different than the soil a farmer works with...a bean plant doesn't look at another plant, but friend, people are watching you and me. The life we live and words we use set an example. Is it one that will help the seed grow?
As you prepare to plant and wait for seeds to grow, I pray these words encourage and take root -
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
"He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains."