No Magic seeds
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest..
Shall not cease.” ( Genesis 8:22)
We all know the story of a poor boy called Jack who was given some bean seeds in exchange for a cow. His angry mother threw them out of the window and they sprung up into a giant beanstalk overnight. Seeds that grow overnight are only the figments of the human imagination; only found in fairy tales. Real seeds require more care and take time to grow, as any farmer would tell you, or you would discover if you experimented with a little soil and some bean seeds. But when we sow seeds of the gospel, our approach tends to be a Jack and the beanstalk approach rather than a real time farmer’s; we sow seeds of the gospel expecting them to yield fruit immediately. When they do not, we tend to give up, a thing that no wise farmer would do because he understands that even the tiniest of seeds has potential to grow and bear much fruit. Also he understands that when a seed is buried in the soil, it needs time to grow. Sowing time and harvest time never follow each other in a span of hours or days.
Everyone who aspires to be an evangelist, to win souls into the kingdom, needs to understand the basics of farming. This is because evangelism is much like farming because it requires the evangelist to sow the seeds of the gospel, expecting they will bear a harvest. Therefore, when there seems to be no fruit, that is, a person being won into the kingdom, they should never despair, but understand that there are other processes involved. They must believe that they have sown and should be satisfied to do their assigned task for each can only play their part. We have examples of people who sowed seeds without seeing a harvest, such as David Livingstone did with “few results” . But he understood that he had not sown in vain because he had faith in God’s promises that future generations would reap what he had sown. That one sows and another reaps was something Christ confirmed in His teachings. Jesus said to His disciples:
“For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” (John 4:37-38)
Once seeds are buried in the ground, they will remain dormant unless the necessary conditions for germination are fulfilled. They will need nutrients but without water all is futile, the seed will never grow. That is why seeds sown in the desert die out as compared to seeds sown in lush tropical lands with abundant rain. So when an evangelist goes out to the Lords field, he may find that others may have planted seeds, and although they have germinated, they have not reached their full potential. A seed’s full potential is when it bears fruit thirty, sixty or hundred fold. The church in Corinth was an example of a seed still in the process of growth. Paul had sown the seeds of the gospel and the church in Corinth had been born. Apollo who came afterwards did the work of watering Paul’s seedlings so that they continued to grow. This is what Paul had to say about his labour in Corinth:
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1Cor. 3:6-8)
Thus, no evangelist needs to worry about whether their efforts bore fruit, but sincerely trust in the process,as long as they did their best.
Finally, a seed buried in good ground and with all the right elements of water, light and nutrients will eventually grow to maturity and bear fruit. Usually the evangelists who comes across ripe fruit and plucks it, tends to be the happiest of the lot in the different processes of evangelism. Where others sowed in tears, he reaps with joy. This is why an evangelist must always understand that the seed he is harvesting is the result of many labours and needs to thank God for those who went before him and prepared the ground. When Jesus sent the seventy to all the places He wanted to go, they came back with good news of a good evangelistic mission full of success. Jesus however pointed out that their joy was not to be based on their exploits but on the fact that their names were written in heaven. (Luke 10:20).Why did He say this? Because He had sent them, “to reap what they had not worked for. Others had done the hard work and these seventy were entering into their labour or reaping their benefits. (John 4:36)
While magic seeds seem to have the potential to spring up overnight, the seeds of the gospel take much longer to yield fruit.This is because God in His sovereign grace has ordained a task for each one to do: some to sow, others to water, and others to reap. He has also ordained a “time for everything under the sun “(Eccl 3). Instead of worrying about results, every saint needs to focus on their part confident that only God is capable of making the seed grow and bear fruit. Since our work is cut out for us, we need to get on with it, as Paul exhorts us:
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1Cor 3:9-15)
The best policy to follow when doing the work of an evangelist is: Do your part as best as you can, as long as you can, and with all you got, but leave the results to God.