Friday, April 13, 2012

How to Prepare to Work in the Field

How to Prepare to Work in the Field


Recently I was watching a documentary on the republic of China.  There was a part in the documentary that dealt with agriculture.  The first part of that section showed how they plowed and turned the soil to prepare it for sowing.  The next part showed dozens of laborers walking up and down the field planting seeds.  The next part showed how they irrigated the plantation.  Lastly, they showed how the laborers collected the harvest. 


As I watched this I asked myself where the seeds come from.  This question led to other questions which led me to realize that there is background information that is often taken for granted.  What happens before the season for planting is never showed.  Consider the following:  In order to plow the land you must have a way to plow the land.  In the case of this place in China, they still had a plow yoked to bulls.    This meant that prior to plowing the farmers need to own or have access to a bull and a plow.  The Bull has to be kept strong and healthy.  The plow needs to be maintained. 


When it comes to the planting itself, you must know the seasons for planting, that determines when you start working the land.  You must have the seed of that you which to reap.  What you wish to reap must be appropriate for the climate and soil of the land.  There are, for example, fruit that will not grow effectively in tropical places, but others that will.  So, you need to have the right seed, and the right amount.  This means that prior to the season you must secure the seeds from the last harvest or have a way of purchasing more, before the season starts.  None of this can be left for the last minute. 


Also, often taken for granted is man power.  Whether the farming will be done with machinery or with manual labor, you still need a workforce.  These laborers must be fit to do the work, be ready to do it, and be available.  And, one last thing, they must know what they are doing.  Else, you need a good trainer to train the rookies. 


This sounds like a lot, especially, since this is all after the harvest was collected and the new planting season begins.  There seems to be not much of a hiatus. 


With all the allusions of farming in the Bible I think it would behoove us to have a bigger picture of farming, not only the planting, watering and harvest.  We focus on what we see, not the invisible background work that enables the visible work.  Consider a musical performance or play.  There are hours of practicing and rehearsing that we are not privy to.  We focus on the visible, but not on the background work that enables the visible.  We focus on the results but not on what made the result possible.  So, it is no surprise that we focus on the planting, watering, and reaping.  Same goes for the Gospel work. 


There is a preparation prior to the Gospel worker going out to preach, teach or witness.  It is the same principles at work.  Obviously, any tools or utensils must be made available prior to the beginning of the work.  But there is a special preparation that the Gospel laborer must go through before going out to work the field.  We are not left in the dark regarding this; the Bible and the writing of Ellen White have plenty of examples in which this preparation is clearly revealed. 


Let us consider Moses.  If anyone was to be the deliverer of the Israelites it was Moses.  He had the education the training, the position, the influence to make it happen.  But, God had other plans.  For God's plans Moses was not ready.  What prevented God from using the best man for the job?  Moses heart and mind was puffed up with pride and man's wisdom.  God allowed circumstances to happen so Moses had to leave Egypt (Exodus 2: 11 – 15), and for the next 40 years Moses prepared for God's work.  It took 40 years for Moses to finally let go of trust and dependence on self, and live out of every word that comes out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).  We see this in Moses excuses of being ill prepared for the job (Exodus 3). 


You may say that you are not delivering a nation; neither were the Apostles but they had to go through the same preparation, and so did Paul.  A professed worker of Christ that still relies on self is a hindrance of the Gospel, for the smallest spot of self will nullify and word of truth we say.  Even if all his words are according the truth as it is in Jesus,   his reliance on self undoes his words.  Ellen White says,


It is not only by preaching the truth, not only by distributing literature, that we are to witness for God. Let us remember that a Christlike life is the most powerful argument that can be advanced in favor of Christianity, and that a cheap Christian character works more harm in the world than the character of a worldling. Not all the books written can serve the purpose of a holy life. Men will believe, not what the minister preaches, but what the church lives. Too often the influence of the sermon preached from the pulpit is counteracted by the sermon preached in the lives of those who claim to be advocates of truth.

It is the purpose of God to glorify Himself in His people before the world. He expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him in thought, word, and deed. Their thoughts are to be pure and their words noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer the Saviour. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. Their every business transaction is to be fragrant with the presence of God. {Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 9}


There is nothing you can do to prepare yourself to be a worker in God's field.  Fitness and ability for the job comes from the Lord Himself.   Allow Him to prepare you!

Raul Diaz