There’s nothing better than the thrill of harvest time! If you’ve ever been in a town where crops have recently been harvested and sold at a good price, you know the streets are full of joyful people. Everyone is smiling and shouting greetings to each other. They are busy enjoying the fruits of their labor!
That’s the way we, as seed-sowing believers, ought to be today. We should have our “reaping” faith in gear and our minds on the harvest. Yet, we seem to have concentrated on the sowing process without giving a thought to how the harvest will come in.
Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest. He called Himself that in Luke 10:2. The problem is, many believers don’t take their faith to the harvest. They’ve gotten stuck instead on the seed-sowing part. They say, “I just keep sowing…and sowing…and sowing, but nothing is happening.”
Why do some believers seem to reap a grand harvest, while others are left wondering what happened? It’s simple, really. The ones who reap the harvest are those who have figured out that the laws of abundance overcome the rules and laws of the world. They’ve learned to operate in the rules of reaping.
Do you need a harvest in your life? If you’re ready to live in the blessings of the Lord, here are six rules of reaping to help you become a master harvester:
1. Reaping Is Not Automatic
“A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.”–Proverbs 10:5
You’ve likely heard much about the importance of sowing. Certainly, you cannot reap if you do not sow. To expect a harvest without planting seed is like a farmer who sits on his porch and says, “I believe in cotton, so this year I’m going to sit here and believe for a harvest. I’m not going to plant any seed; I’m just going to believe for a harvest.” He can sit there forever, but he will not reap a harvest until he plants the seed.
But once we’ve sown, we have much to do in the meantime to call in our harvest.
Consider the farmer who invests time and money planting a crop. Then, at harvest time, he simply sits on the porch and watches it rot in the field. Our response would be, “That’s crazy!” Unfortunately, that is the way some Christians think. Many sow their seed, then just wait for God to reap the harvest, but that is not the way it works.
A harvest doesn’t just jump from the field to the barn. Someone must go out and reap it. And that someone is us!
Why, then, aren’t all of us producing bumper crops every season? Because we are sitting around waiting for God to do all the work. We sow the seed, God produces the increase, then we reap the harvest.
2.Reaping Requires Faith
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” –Ecclesiastes 11:4
Are you waiting for that “perfect” moment to sow? When all the bills are paid, you’ve had your fill, and there is an overflow left over that you don’t need today?
To reap a harvest, you must first have faith in your seed. If you sow seed in faith, you KNOW you will reap. People who continually keep their eyes fixed on negative conditions will fail to sow or will lose faith in their seed.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit” (MSG).
If you’re a sower, and you’ve gotten discouraged, that’s like digging up your seed, especially if you say, “It’s not working for me.” When discouragement tries to come on you, rebuke it and say what you believe—speak the truth from the Word of God. Believe God for your healing, your financial needs to be met and healing in your relationships; and then don’t quit.
Our harvest does not depend on the weather or the economy. We are meant to harvest year-round!
You can live IN the harvest and ON the harvest! To do so, you can’t quit sowing, you can’t quit saying, you can’t quit believing…you can’t quit harvesting. This is the cycle of ABUNDANCE.
3.Tithing Protects Our Harvest
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” –Proverbs 3:9-10, NKJV
One of the most important rules of reaping is tithing. A good harvester is a tither because tithing is the key to your seed being blessed. When we tithe, not only are we honoring God with the first 10 percent of our income, we are inviting Him into our circumstances.
In Malachi 3:10-11, NKJV, we learn the benefits of tithing.
•It opens “the windows of heaven” and sends rain on the seed you’ve sown.
•It opens the door for God to “rebuke the devourer” for your sake and keep him from destroying the fruit of your ground.
•It prevents pests from devouring your crops and fruit from falling from your vines.
What does this mean? When you tithe, the devil can’t steal your crop!
4. Know When to Reap
“As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” –John 4:35, MSG
Every crop has a season for planting and another for harvesting. The same is true in the spirit realm. When you first plant your seed, you don’t get out your sickle and try to start reaping the moment the first little blade of faith appears. You have to be patient and let the Word finish its work. You have to wait for your faith crop to ripen. As you do, God will begin opening doors of opportunity to you—showing you when to harvest.
Timing is important! That’s why Ecclesiastes 3:2 says there is “a right time to plant and another to reap” (MSG).
So, how do we know when to reap?
One way we know something is ripe is when it just falls off the tree. That’s true in the natural and the spirit realm. When the time for your harvest has come, things just start working. Circumstances fall miraculously into line. People just start doing their best to help you in that area. It becomes obvious: THE BLESSING has done its work, and harvest time is here!
5. Know Where to Reap
“Isaac planted crops in that land and took in a huge harvest. God blessed him. The man got richer and richer by the day until he was very wealthy.” [This was during a time of famine.] –Genesis 26:12, MSG
When we sow, it’s important that we do so in good soil. But, unlike natural farmers, we do not always return to the same place we planted seed to receive the harvest. So, how do we know where to go and reap our bounty?
The Lord will show you where your harvest is located, and it may not be where you expected. Staying in tune with Him is important during this time, so you won’t miss the door of opportunity that He opens to you.
In Luke 5:1-11, we see that Peter nearly missed his harvest. Why?
Peter sowed his boat to Jesus to allow Him to preach. When He was done speaking, Jesus told Peter to let down his nets to reap a harvest of fish. But Peter replied, “We worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”
Jesus was telling him where to find his harvest. It takes obedience and ears to hear to allow God to point you in the right direction toward the right opportunity, so you will be in the right place at the right time.
Look for your harvest in great and new opportunities. Resist the temptation to predetermine where and how they will come. Just believe, and you will receive!
6. Leave Nothing Behind
“They will get back one hundred times as much now at this time.” –Mark 10:30, NLV
Do you want to receive all that God has for you? To receivemeans “to take; to seize; lay hold of, claim and procure.” It’s not a passive process—it’s very active.
Every seed you’ve ever sown will reap a harvest—no matter how long it has been out there. Think back on all your tithing and sowing. There is a harvest to reap from every single seed. Part of reaping every harvest is believing it is coming to you. Don’t leave spiritual crops in the field. If you haven’t thought of yourself as a harvester until now, start thinking of yourself that way. Roll up your spiritual sleeves and get to work—it’s harvest time!