For most people, the gathering of a harvest, that joy of seeing hard work brought into fullness, is a highlight of life. It is something we all want. To gather a harvest. Be it a literal harvest, a financial harvest of increase, or the beautiful harvest of men and women for the Kingdom of God.
Yet, without seed, there can be no harvest.
This is a simple truth, though easily forgotten.
When someone prophesies over us, or when God shows us a future event, we can easily become focused on the result. We can forget that there has to be seed sown—time, task, finances, etc.—and that seed must have time to mature. It has to be watered, tended, and even weeded. Yes, in the case of certain harvests, we may not be personally involved in every step… yet, no step can be ignored.
Take someone turning to God and His Word. For this to happen there is usually a seed, or many seeds, sown into their heart before they turn to Him. There is frequently a watering of the seed, preparing it, nurturing it. Then, and only then, after the fruit has ripened, can the harvest be realized. This process may take hours to days, months, years, or even decades!
And while, in many cases, we may see and be part of the entire process, more often, we take part in only a few of the steps. We may plant a seed and/or tend it, but not see the results until we reach Heaven. Or we may tend and harvest what someone else planted—what they will not see until the end. We may see the final result, but never those first seeds.
What we plant is uniquely important. After all, the harvest cannot happen without the seed… without time and care.
So, why is it important to realize this? Well, because of the Word. Because of the knowledge that for everything there is a season. Because there are promises of God that require seed if we are to see the ultimate harvest of those promises… if we are to receive the blessing of that harvest, on earth, and in Heaven.
“To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under heaven:
…a time to plant,
and a time to pluck what is planted;”
Seed Time vs. Harvest Time:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”—Matthew 6:19-21
When we chase only after the harvest and do not plant seed in the appropriate season, we are trying to store up treasures on earth… because the harvest brings to many a greater sense of joy, of completion and purpose, than planting seed. Yet, the treasure that comes as a result of planting the seed is not only stored in heaven, it also brings a reward to us on earth— for there is special blessing in planting.
Now, this is in no way indicating that planting seed is somehow of greater importance or reward than the harvest… it is about timing. It is about seasons. God’s seasons.
When He says that to everything there is a season in Ecclesiastes 3:1, that is exactly the truth. There is a season for every activity under Heaven and sometimes we may be laying seed in one field, tending another, and harvesting yet another. Yes, seasons—months, years, and even decades—tend to require a major focus in each one of these steps, but there is always the planting going on so that there is always a harvest ripe in the field.
Take someone who is doing Kingdom work for God. Now, they may be readying the end of one project God directed them to do, while simultaneously being directed in another activity. God may direct their steps to obediently plant the seed; teaching them skills they will need for the next season and harvest, or giving them a blue-print for what will come next. Their main focus may still be on the harvest, but their mind and position in the planting is being readied for the future.
The key to knowing if it is seed time or harvest time is in watching what God is doing in the nations—particularly Israel—paying attention to what God has done in His Word, and of course, seeking God. When we are in tune with God’s timing, with His seasons, we begin to know instinctively if we are to plant, tend, or harvest. We enter a knowing of God’s will.
During the first months of any year—be it Gregorian or Hebraic/biblical—there is a shift within us toward the next thing to come. Even when a harvest is close before us, our thoughts and attentions can begin to shift toward planting the seed for the next harvest, so we have something to reach for when this harvest is done.
For the most part, this is in tune with God’s heart. Yet, it is always important to seek Him first… and not become distracted by counterfeit visions of what His timing is… or what our next goal or step should be… for we may forget to complete the ripened harvest. This is why we need to walk hand in hand with God. To become so in tune with Him that we do not miss the time of our visitation—of His plans for us and others.
Still, what are the seed times we need to watch for? What is it that we ought to be doing?
Well, on a personal level this can vary for each of us. Some of us may need to plant seeds of knowledge within ourselves or those around us; be it biblical knowledge or technical knowledge. Some may need to plant seeds of maturity; of self-discipline in time, task, activity, finance, etc. Still others may need to plant seeds of relationship; with God and others.
On and on the possibilities go, yet, there are some seed times which apply to all those who follow after God and desire to do His will… seed times deep in connection to His Word.
In the Word are many prophecies and commands. It is in these—God’s promises to us—that we can plant seeds and prepare for the waves of harvest to come. Some relate to the second coming of Jesus—Yeshua the Messiah. Others, to the things which are prophesied to happen before His return and are therefore KEY. And of course, there are those things tied to prophecy AND God’s commands which are again, KEY to preparing for the return of Jesus and the advancing of His Kingdom…
These range from:
- Preaching the Good News
- Being a light in a darkening world
- Preparing the land where Jesus will walk to Jerusalem
- Returning the lost sheep of Israel to the Promised Land
- Caring for the widow, the orphan, the poor and needy
- Causing the desert of Israel to bloom like a rose
- Being a voice of truth
- Turning the children of Israel to jealousy (so that they will come to Jesus, their Messiah)
- Restoring the boundaries of the Promised Land to their full size
- and more…
While some of these have harvest elements within them, they ALL require seed to occur.
The Word of God says in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
All that is written in the Word MUST come to pass, for God is NOT a man that He should lie.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”—Numbers 23:19
Therefore since God’s Word is true and must be made good, we, as God’s faithful, are to do His will. We are to cause the desert of Israel to bloom like a rose, we are to prepare the ground that Jesus will walk upon, we are to care for those who have need, we are to be a light…
All these and more God has given us the ability to work toward. To plant seed for. Sometimes through prayer, sometimes through giving, sometimes through actions… but always, always we can plant those seeds.
We CAN be the voice in the wilderness crying, “prepare the way of the Lord; make straight His paths” (Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4). Planting seed for His return. For His Kingdom.