26 Jan, 2024 Harvest: from acorn to tree (Part Two)
By Jenna Ditsch
In my last blog, I focused mostly on the TIME aspect of the “SEED, TIME, and HARVEST” topic found in the bible, drawing parallels between gardening processes and the journey of life. I emphasized that the HARVEST, representing one’s purpose or promise, requires TIME to grow into full maturity. We need to let God be the author of the entire process, from SEED, to HARVEST, without judging ourselves based on the timetable that God-ordained process.
I shared how TIME is like the container that holds God’s process that when endured faithfully, leads to a purposeful HARVEST. I also focused on how the enemy can make us feel discouraged when we mislabel God’s process as “delay” and conclude that we’ve been forgotten, when in fact, God is just expanding our capacity to steward the harvest.
In today’s blog, I want to focus in a bit more on SEED and look at TIME through the lens of “delay.” Sometimes we say, “I’m just in process,” when in fact, we’ve entered into a season of delay. How do we know the difference between a God-ordained process and a season of delay?
PROCESS INCLUDES PARTNERSHIP
God’s process always includes partnership. God has His part—and if we try to do His part—we will fail. But there’s also our part—and no matter how long we “wait on God,” He won’t do for us what He’s already commanded and empowered us to do. Process is based on God’s timetable—but delay is based on ours. In other words, while we can’t speed up God’s process for us, we can certainly slow it down by our disobedience.
It’s important to understand SEED and how misusing it can lead to delay. Sometimes TIME doesn’t produce what it ought to because we don’t discern it when God answers our prayers in SEED. Sometimes God answers our prayers in HARVEST. He provides a meal—and we eat it and are satisfied. But other times God answers our prayer in SEED. Esau is a case study of this unfortunate lack of discernment. He treated his birthright as a meal rather than understanding it was SEED. He was unwilling to cooperate with the process of TIME and because of that, he traded away his HARVEST for a single meal.
Zechariah tells us not to despise the day of small beginnings. A handful of seeds might have a small beginning, but it can end in abundant HARVEST. The purpose of SEED is to grow or mature into something that produces fruit that can feed us—and others. Seed always carries within it the ability to multiply. Multiplication is a principle of the Kingdom. Our purpose is never about us—it’s about those whom the Kingdom will impact through our good fruit. It’s better to have hundreds of apples from a grove of apple trees that came from a handful of seeds than to eat a handful of apple seeds. In fact, apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is highly toxic. God designed the apple seed to be planted, not consumed. This lesson from nature needs to be applied to our lives, too.
SEED—SOURCE AND KINDS
Another important aspect to understand about SEED is that it comes in various types and forms. People often tend to think of seeds in financial terms. But sometimes SEED is opportunity. Sometimes it is service. Sometimes it is favor. Sometimes it’s our words. However it comes to us, we must recognize it and sow not into the flesh, but into the Spirit (“…seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…”) in order to reap the HARVEST of God’s provision (“…and all these things will be added to you.”) Matthew 6:33, ESV.
Pray for discernment because not only do we need to recognize what is SEED, but who is the giver of the SEED. It comes from two sources—either from the Kingdom of Light—or the Kingdom of Darkness. The enemy loves to answer your prayers with SUBSTITUTE SEED. These seeds also have various types and forms. It might be an opportunity—designed to distract you from your destiny. It might be service—but to the wrong person. Have you ever tried to help somebody only to feel drained in the end because you are giving to a taker who consumes and never grows? It might be favor—but with an unholy alliance. It might be mixture—words that are true but laced with deception or facts based on the enemy’s perspective instead of God’s.
If the enemy can’t trick you with SEED, he might try to trap you with TIME. This is where delay can enter in. He tries to change the times and seasons. Time is not constant but rather a variable. It can be accelerated or delayed. If we put TIME in God’s hands, then we will be on the right timeline. How we participate (or don’t participate) in our process based on our willingness to be refined, pruned, and consider it joy when we face trials of various kinds can be the difference between if our pathway is God’s version of time or a delayed version of time. This is why delay frustrates us so much. We know deep within that it is not SUPPOSED to take this long! When you sometimes go God’s way, but then other times go your own way, this is what creates the “stuck loop.” The circling like the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness who traded their 40-day timeline for a 40-year process instead. And still—only two made it into the promised land!
On the other hand, the enemy might try to speed things up before God’s appointed TIME. He knows that humans struggle with TIME (process) and sometimes offers shortcuts to HARVEST that are appealing to the flesh but steals from you the process (TIME) that is necessary for you to become a good steward (worker) of the harvest. Scripture says the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
CHOOSING TO BE CHOSEN
Many are called, but few are chosen. How can that be? Why would God not choose those whom He’s called? After He chooses us—we need to choose Him back. If we do this, then we move from “called” to having chosen to be CHOSEN. We make this choice by where we decide to set our gaze.
God wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith and of our faith journey. Jesus, the Giver of SEED. Jesus, the Good Gardner who will tend to the soil of our hearts and minds. Jesus, the Author of our Process (TIME). Jesus, the Savior who is the Fulfillment of all God’s Promises (HARVEST). Jesus demonstrated His love for you when He chose you even when you were still His enemy. He died for you so that you can choose Him back. If you say “yes” to the journey of SEED, TIME, and HARVEST as God designed for your life, you will experience the exhilaration of finishing your race and receive the reward for fulfilling your purpose of fruitfulness and multiplication for God’s Kingdom.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
“No pain, no gain,” as the old saying goes. But what about when there seems like there’s a lot of pain—but no gain? Meet Jenna, an ordinary single mom, who had an extraordinary experience from “graveyard to garden” in the midst of a traumatic life collapse. In the span of a few weeks, she lost her husband, a close family member, her house, her job, and her dreams for the future. Jenna had reached the end of herself and had nothing left but a desperate plea for help, knowing that without supernatural intervention, she wouldn’t survive.
Jenna had a spiritual encounter in which she learned how the graveyard of all that had died in her life could in fact be the rich soil of a garden in which a new future could be grown.
Jenna is a versatile, forward-thinking strategist with extensive experience in education, writing, ministry, and coaching who desires to help the overwhelmed parent, educator, or writer desiring creative alternatives to “one-size-fits-all” parenting, education, and publishing.
If you long for more but feel stuck settling for less, join Jenna on the journey to find God’s way through. Visit her website for more information!
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