YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD
March 31, 2019 | Steve Pixler
There are two main points that I want to cover today:
You were created to bear fruit and produce a full harvest. Your “harvest” is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny.
You will find your harvest in your field. Your “field” is the area of influence God assigned to you in his kingdom, particularly your vocation.
SECTION 1: WHAT IS YOUR HARVEST?
Your harvest is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny.
The idea of “harvest” as a metaphor is used often throughout Scripture. We most often associate “the harvest” with saving the lost, with world missions. But “harvest” in the Bible can refer to anything that comes to fruition, to fullness and completion.
The Bible describes many different harvests, such as:
Anything that God calls us to produce is fruit, and the fullness of that fruitfulness is a harvest.
Here is a powerful passage that speaks about our personal “harvest” and how our fruitfulness and fulfillment advances the coming of Christ’s kingdom throughout the world.
Colossians 1:9–14 (ESV): And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
You were created to bear fruit. You were created to produce a harvest. You were created for fulfillment and purpose. Your were designed for a divine destiny.
From the beginning of creation, God said:
Genesis 1:28 (ESV): And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill (fulfill) the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God blessed them. And out of that blessing flowed fruitfulness. And from fruitfulness flowed fulfillment. And from fulfillment flowed dominion.
You were designed to produce a harvest of “good works.” You were designed for destiny. God has sown the seeds of destiny in each one of us. Seeds of abilities and talents that he wants to bring out of us like fruit borne in our field. God intends to produce a full harvest in each one of us.
Who here wants to produce all that God created you to produce? Fullness!
Jesus repeated the Creation Mandate:
John 15:8, 16 (ESV): 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
SECTION 2: WHAT IS YOUR FIELD?
Your field is the area of influence God assigned to you in his kingdom, particularly your vocation.
Look at this passage that powerfully describes your field, your “area of influence”:
2 Corinthians 10:13–18 (ESV): 13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
In this passage, the “area of influence” refers to ministry responsibility within the church, the apostolate of Paul the Apostle. But the principle applies in a larger context. God assigns you a “field,” a “to metron tou kanonos” (literally, “the measure of your rule”; translated “area of influence”).
Your “area of influence” is your jurisdiction, the place where you have been given kingdom authority to serve. As Jesus said, “I chose you and APPOINTED you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).
What are your “areas of influence”? (Family, work, church, community)
SECTION 3: YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD
Your fulfillment, your destiny, is found in your assigned area of influence, your kingdom-authorized jurisdiction.
Many people never find their HARVEST because they never find their FIELD.
They never find their field because they never learn how they are made, for HOW you are made reveals WHY you are made.
Design determines destiny. How did God make you? For what purpose did he make you?
One of the most powerful statements in the Bible about the “design determines destiny” idea is Psalm 139:
Psalm 139:13–16 (ESV):
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Here’s another powerful statement about how God formed you before time began for a divine destiny:
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
YOU MUST GET THIS FACT: You were formed by God before time began for a purpose. You are a planned person! Planned with a plan.
Fulfillment begins with discovery. We are called to a particular field, a place to which we are assigned in order to produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God. And finding our field begins with finding our gifts.
As Paul said so powerfully,
Romans 11:29 (ESV): For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Gifts and calling go together. Indeed, we clarify our calling by discovering our gifts.
That’s most likely where your field will be found! Every harvest begins with a seed. Ideas, gifts, dreams, natural abilities, on and on, are seeds that grow into a harvest of loving service and wise influence.
The seeds that grow in your heart will produce the harvest of good works.
We have been trained to be satisfied with just working a job to make a living. But God created you to work a job that makes a LIFE! Whatever you do for a living should bring life.
You need to know that you can ASK for work that fulfills, that you are being moved RIGHT NOW by the Holy Spirit to discover your gifts that reveal your field that produces your harvest.
**Jesus CHOSE YOU and APPOINTED YOU to go and BEAR FRUIT!
SECTION 4: WORK & WORSHIP
Many limit “calling” to only ministry calling, such as pastoring, being a missionary, etc. But Scripture is clear: your WORK is WORSHIP!
Colossians 3:22–24 (ESV): Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:17 (ESV): And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
You are called to do your work to the Lord and for the Lord.
GET THIS: The kingdom of God is bigger than the church.
The church is the government assembly (GR. “ekklesia”—think: Congress or Parliament) of the kingdom of God, but the kingdom of God is bigger than the church.
The kingdom of God is the RULE of God, and Jesus, seated on the throne of God in heaven, rules over every REALM of life. (Because of mankind’s rebellion against the rule of God in Eden, the kingdom must COME into every area of life, which happens through the preaching of the gospel.)
As Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). As the Book of Revelation puts it, Jesus Christ is “the ruler of kings on earth” (Revelation 1:5). Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” To put it in American language, Jesus is the “President of presidents.”
Jesus rules over every realm of life. He rules over families, governments, politics, education, science, medicine, the arts and entertainment, engineering and architecture, music and movies, technology, space exploration, oceanography, finance and accounting, on and on. If it is a FIELD—an area of influence—Jesus rules over it. ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and earth belong to him. Everyone who works in any field owes their servant authority to the dispensation (GR. oikonomia) of Jesus.
For example, the Bible clearly teaches that government leaders (specifically, law enforcement) work for Jesus. Government leaders are given authority by Jesus and will give an account to Jesus for how they served.
Romans 13:1–7 (ESV): Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Paul taught this in a time and place where submitting to authorities was quite difficult. The government when and where Paul lived was the Roman Empire, a wicked, cruel and unjust government. King Jesus eventually judged the Roman rulers and removed them from power through the subversive influence of Christian love (not power/violence) over four centuries. But, until Rome fell, the church was obligated to submit to its authority.
**This is why Jesus taught us to pray every day, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The church preaches the gospel, people believe and are saved; as people are saved, society shifts and the powers of darkness are dethroned; in this way, reconciliation/transformation happens in the world.
What does this have to do with you? It simply shows that the authority of Jesus extends over every REALM of life, which includes your WORK. You are given a divine assignment to serve to the glory of God. God has appointed a FIELD for you!
Your FIELD is your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Your assignment is much bigger than your job, though it includes it. Your assignment includes the total area of influence that God has given you to steward. Yet, because that does include your JOB, we must come to see our work as a calling, as a VOCATION.
DO THIS: Ask God to lead you into your FIELD, into your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Be bold. Ask confidently, and don’t stop asking. God created you for a purpose. You were born to bear fruit. You were designed for destiny. You were planted in the world to produce a HARVEST! Refuse to settle for anything less.
ASK YOURSELF: How does my job advance the kingdom of God in the world? Don’t be distracted by what you merely do at work—ask yourself how your work makes the world a better place. Look for the bigger, God-sized meaning in what you do.
You will find your HARVEST in your FIELD.
SECTION 5: SENT INTO THE HARVEST
Jesus made a powerful statement about being “sent into his harvest.” Let’s look at the passage and see how it applies to the larger “harvest” of “good works” found through kingdom vocation.
Matthew 9:35–38 (ESV): And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Let’s look at three things from verse 38:
PRAY EARNESTLY: We must change the way we pray over our work. Too often, we simply pray paycheck-focused, quality-of-life prayers over our work. But we must partner with the Holy Spirit and CRY OUT with strategic, kingdom-oriented prayers about our work. Jesus sent you out into your field so that you could produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God and for the transformation of the world.
THE LORD OF THE HARVEST: Jesus is sovereign over our kingdom assignments. We must submit to his will and partner with his power to bring change in the world.
TO SEND OUT: Our prayer to King Jesus, Lord of the harvest, is that he would SEND OUT laborers into his harvest. The word translated “send out” is the Greek word “EKBALLE,” and it means “to be THRUST OUT, to be HURLED, to be LAUNCHED like an arrow fired into a target.”
Jesus commanded us to CRY OUT IN PRAYER that he, the Lord of the harvest, would FIRE PEOPLE LIKE ARROWS into the workplace, precisely targeted to hit the bullseye of wise influence and loving service. Jesus plans to change the world, and he will do so with YOU!
Where is your field? Where is your kingdom work assignment? Where is your vocation?
That’s where you will find your harvest, your fulfillment, your purpose and destiny.