06 January 2010

What if there is a Drought?

I received a comment on my last posting, Will there be Enough to Feed a Hungry World?, making a comparison between drought and the harvest.  What if there is a drought, no finances, how can you still expect a big harvest, have many children?

I want to say before I answer this question: Many of the remarks and quotes in this posting have the potential to offend.  I am sorry if it offends you, the Truth can offend people! Jesus’ truths offended many people during his three years of ministry on earth. We must however not be offensive in our delivery of a possible offending truth.

I could immediately answer the question out of my own experience. During the past 7 years, since we started ‘sowing with the purpose of a plentiful harvest’ by giving over how many children and the age-gap between the children to the Lord, I’ve had countless personal testimonies of God’s Faithfulness in providing enough rain for our ‘little seeds”. But that is my experience and my opinion and that is only my testimony and not worth much if you are in a different situation. We believe strongly that our opinion is as worthless as yours, if it is not aligned with God’s Word.

So I dug into the Bible!  God’s opinion is timeless and always applicable in every situation!  I love to ask God’s opinion in everything I do, and when He answers me or  gives me an answer out of His Word, go out in faith and do as he says. I once read there is a difference between believing IN God and Believing God.  Even the demons believe IN God, but they don’t BELIEVE God.  The oldest strategy of Satan is to bring doubt in your mind and heart about the trustworthiness of God and His Word!  

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Gen 3:1

Firstly God took me to the Parable of the Sower.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”….

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

In this parable it is clear that the reason why there was no harvest was because either Satan would quickly come and sow doubt in your heart and you don’t even try; or lack of endurance in times of tribulation and persecution; or because of cares for this world and the deceitfulness of riches.  When the seed fell in good ground, one who ‘hears the word, understand it’ and believe and go out in faith, he will bear fruit, thirty fold, sixty fold, hundredfold.  I don’t read about plagues when the seed fell in good ground - faith.  The plagues is, just as in nature, because of sin. Thus it is not for us to decide if their is ideal conditions for a harvest or how big the harvest should be, we should go out in faith and sow and leave the rest in the God’s Hands!

Then He reminded me of John 16:33
3 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

And Matthew 6:31
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

These two above verses reminds us that tribulation and persecution will come.  It is normal that we worry about tomorrow, cares about worldly things, but in all this, God said we must be of ‘good cheer’ and that we should not worry, He has overcome evil, He will always provide, He knows what we need.

That brings me to what do we think we need.  Most of the time our expectations of what we think we need, are different from what God knows we need.  Especially in this modern world, with the media reminding us as many times as we allow them, of what we need to be content. It is really not a need then but a want.

There are so many things our family ‘needs’.  We don’t have a fence in front of our house – giving the children little space to play in a safe environment; we only live in a three bedroom house, with an attached granny flat, which we use for the 4 boys as a bedroom. The second bedroom is the girls room and the third bedroom the baby’s room.  Every time when a new baby is moved out of our room, we have to carefully plan how we will put our children in the available rooms.  We only have a single garage and no “school room” or a study. Our dining room can only fit a round table for 6 people; still we all fit in for breakfast and dinner.  Two years ago we drew up plans to build on an extra room (school room and study), enlarge the dining room, improved the kitchen to cook for a large family and a double garage to give the boys room for all their projects.  We’re still waiting for the finances, we don’t want to go into debt.  We know if God thinks our family needs these ‘improvements’, he will provide it.  At this stage He thinks it is better for our family to live in a smaller house, being more in each others faces, building character!

In my previous posting I testified of how God provided me with an Apple laptop.  I really thought that was a want, not a need.  God clearly differed from me and miraculously, within Christo’s budget, provided me with my heart’s desire. God alwats knows the best.

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
 “The Lord is my helper;
 I will not fear.
Hebrews 13:5

When we became convicted of surrendering my womb to the Lord, we were in a terrible drought!. You can read it in Josua and Danika’s birth-stories.  It was after we’ve experienced God’s miraculous financial provision the year after Danika’s birth, that we’ve start to really seek God’s will in family planning and start to trust God to provide for ‘all the little plants’ He wanted us to grow! We didn’t know if He would give us a thirty fold, sixty fold or hundred fold harvest.

And that reminded me of Deut. 28 (The blessing and curse verses of the Old Testament):

 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Did you notice the level at which God will bless you if you obey His commandments?
First the fruit of your body, only then the produce of you ground and the increase of your herds.  God wants you to first step out in faith and obey His first commandment to the Man and his wife. 

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Gen 1:27

On the other hand if you do not observe all His commandments there will be calamity and plagues. You can read it from Deut 28:15.  I especially want to highlight Deut 28:61: 

 "You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess."

Strong words from a Loving God, but just a few verses before (verse 58) we read:
“that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD,…”
Do we still FEAR our God?  Or did we bring Him down to our level of thinking and understanding?  

Our family can testify of this truth.  We fear God more than anything on earth.  Since Obedience to God is our first priority, Christo and I don’t allow each other to fear that He will not provide in our needs. Every now and then one of us will fear; will God provide, but then we remind each other of His promises and we will step out in faith again! Sometimes  he does not answer the way we would like, but He knows what is best for us and we surrender under His Will!

Lastly God reminded me of the famous family psalm, Ps. 127

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
 They labor in vain who build it;
 Unless the Lord guards the city,
 The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
 To sit up late,
 To eat the bread of sorrows;
 For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
 The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
 So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
 They shall not be ashamed,
 But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

God is building our house.  Christo can work as hard and as many hours as he likes, but if God’s Hand of blessing isn’t on it, it is all in vain.  We can only testify how God has increased the produce of  ‘our ground, our herds, our cattle, the offspring of our flocks and my kneading bowl’.

Be obedient to the Lord. Present yourself available for His harvest and leave the size of your harvest to Him!


Petra said...

I cannot agree more. The part about being offended and Jesus' offending is so true and lots of Christians today ignore that. Stepping out in faith and living in obedience, truth, truth; and we can testify of that as you know!

Thanks for the reminders. God Bless.

Sonja said...

Linnie,ek stem absoluut saam met jou! Ek het net 4 en ek kan met elkeen getuig hoe die Here voorsien het nog elke dag! En Hy sal nooit ophou nie.Die verskil le daarin om waarlik n persoonlike verhouding met Hom te he waar ons self kan hoor wat Hy wil he ons moet doen!

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