Thursday, May 19, 2011

Matthew 9:36-38


36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, ``The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 ``Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.''

This is one of the most powerful and insightful statements Jesus ever made. It is challenging to me! Jesus wants us to allow Him to lead out, especially when it comes to fulfilling the primary mission of spreading the message of the kingdom.

Check out the words of Oswald Chambers on this matter as it relates to a "missionary": 'The key to the missionary's difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work- that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God. The key to the missionary's difficult task is also not the key of common sense, nor is it the key of medicine, civilization, education, or even evangelization. The key is in following the Master's orders- the key is prayer.

"Pray the Lord of the harvest." In the natural realm, prayer is not practical but absurd. We have to realize that prayer is foolish from the commonsense point of view.

From Jesus' perspective, there are no nations, but only the world. How many of us pray without regard to the persons, but with regard to only one Person- Jesus? He owns the harvest that is produced through distress and through conviction of sin. This is the harvest for which we have to pray that laborers be sent out to reap. We stay busy at work, while people all around us are ripe and ready to be harvested; we do not reap even one of them, but simply waste our Lord's time in over-energized activities and programs. Suppose a crisis were to come into your father's or your brother's life- are you there as a laborer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? Is your response, "Oh, but I have a special work to do!" No 'believer' has a special work to do. A 'believer' is called to be Jesus Christ's own, "a servant [who] is not greater than his master" ( John 13:16 ), and someone who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work- He calls us to Himself. "Pray the Lord of the harvest," and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.'

So our primary responsibility is to pray-to be fully aware and to follow the direction of Jesus-to get our orders from Him. This is what it means to trust Him.