ECCLESIASTES 11:1, 5-6: “Send your bread on the surface of the water, for after many days you may find it…
Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so also you don’t know the work of God who makes everything.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Am I holding on to the seed God has given to me? Have I allowed fear and disappointment to intimidate me? Did I really receive a vision from the Lord, or I am simply being presumptuous?
These are the thoughts and questions that I was wresting with as I read these verses from Ecclesiastes chapter 11. To anyone who believes they have received a calling from the Lord, these verses will speak to you too!
The Kingdom of God is one of sowing and reaping. Sometimes we are sowing and sometimes we are reaping. In all of our activity it is God who gives the increase. And, the level of increase is fully up to Him. The calling in our life is to keep sowing. Yet, when we do not see any results from our sowing it can become discouraging. The enemy will use this discouragement to try and keep us from doing the things the Lord has called us to. Yet, we have a sure promise!
- “Send your bread on the surface of the water, for after many days you may find it.”
Doing good for the Kingdom of God, using our gifts to proclaim the Gospel and to glorify Jesus Christ, will always produce fruit. The mystery of the Kingdom is that it does not always produce fruit in the way that we expect. And it is our expectations that set us up for disappointment. Yet, God is always at work! He is watching over the precious seed we have sown. And, in His mystery, He is bringing forth a harvest!
- “Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so also you don’t know the work of God who makes everything.”
Recently I have been sowing a lot of seed. It seems like I have been sowing without any result. A lot of effort and prayer have gone into this sowing. And, to be totally honest, my expectations have set me up for disappointment. I have begun to forget the principle and the promise of sowing and reaping.
- “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 CSB
In sowing and reaping it is really not about me at all. I should rejoice and feel privileged to simply be called to sow the seed of the Kingdom. It is all about Jesus, it is all about the Kingdom, and what God does with my efforts are fully up to Him and solely for His glory. My job is very simple.
My job is to sow!
I need to take my expectations, my ego, and even the vision I feel I have received from the Lord, and lay them upon the altar. If all I am called to do is sow, and another reaps the harvest of my efforts, then to God be the glory!
My job is to sow!
I must be found using the gifts and talents that the Lord has given to me each and every day to the fullest of my ability by the grace that has been given unto me.
- “For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.” 1 Corinthians 15:9-11 CSB
A dear friend of mine, Bob Sanders, Founder of Baja Christian Ministries (a life saving outreach to the poor of Baja California), loves to tell the story of the young boy on the seashore who was trying to rescue starfish. A great host of starfish had washed up on the shore. The young boy was trying to rescue them, one by one, before the sun dried them out and they died. An old fisherman came by and mocked the young boy. He said – “You can never save these starfish. Your efforts are futile. You will never make a difference.” The young boy looked at the old fisherman as he took a starfish in his hand, and as he threw it back into the ocean, he said – “It made a difference for this one!”
My job is to sow!
Lord, this morning I need to come humbly to Your cross. I need to lay down all of my expectations and I need to take up the mantle of faithfulness. I know, according to the promise of Your Word, that if I continue to sow, I will reap a harvest. I may not always see this harvest, but it is taking place in lives and hearts that I may never know, or may never meet. Your Word never goes forth void. It accomplishes all that You have proclaimed. Give me grace to continue to sow – joyfully, faithfully, and in full assurance of the harvest You are producing!
My job is to sow!
- “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.”
In Jesus Name!