In the weeks leading up to the harvest when the crops don’t need attending, the farmer capitalizes on the idle time to inspect, repair and prepare his equipment. “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”(Revelation 14:18 NIV, ©2010)
Depending on the type of crop (wheat, corn, soybeans, etc.) and field presentation (muddy, rocky, hilly, etc.) different parts are installed onto the combine to ensure maximum yield of the harvest. Comparably, certain equipment is required for your harvest situation. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”(Ephesians 6:11; 14-17 NIV, ©2010)
Ensuring farm machinery is in good working condition will reduce possible breakdowns during the middle of harvest when time and manpower are at a premium. It is also much easier to make repairs in a well-lighted, fully outfitted location than in a darkened, exposed one. First, the farmer removes any field debris leftover from last year’s use as well as remains from any unwelcome visitors that took up residence while the combine was not in service. Similarly, we see Jesus giving the same instruction, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV, ©2010) Next, he washes away greasy buildup and lubricates moving parts with fresh oil. “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 NLT) Finally, the farmer replaces frayed and worn components that may not last through the window of time for reaping. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV, ©2010) “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 4:20 NIV, ©2010)
Agricultural organizations recommend that a farmer should review the operational manual of his combine to refresh his memory on how to correctly operate the equipment. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.” (Joshua 1:8 NLT) “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-18 NLT)
KESHER TIP (connection): Iron Sharpens Iron
In Proverbs 27:17, we see the wisdom of interacting with other people who will help us to become “sharp” to perform the work we are called to do. Engage a mission mentor or prayer partner who can speak into your life, be a sounding board and hold you accountable as you prepare for your harvesting season.
Go to the next devotion entitled, “Crew”, in this Harvest devotional series!
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