A Season of Harvest
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit…” (John 15:8).
In the last blog I wrote, I referenced a verse from Matthew 10:27 that states, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the rooftops.” Throughout our time living in North Highland God has given us very specific promises concerning His plans for this community. Until recently, it has seemed that God wanted us to pray and ponder on those promises rather than reveal them. However, for the last several months there has been a compelling in my Spirit to begin proclaiming from the rooftops the truths God has declared to us. The following words are a result of that compelling and also my best effort to communicate to you how our past has prepared us for what is soon to come.
By now most of you have heard our family’s story and the story of Highland Community Church and Truth Spring. You know that for the last 12 years we have sought to be obedient to the call of Christ in every area of our life and ministry. Throughout those 12 years there have been a variety of seasons that we have experienced. The first 8 years served as a season of personal refinement as we learned how to fulfill the command in Psalm 37 to “dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” The meaning of the word faithful is “long-continued and steadfast commitment to whatever one is bound to by a pledge.” In the first 8 years we learned that our pledge was not to developing a neighborhood, but rather to daily living out the two commandments Christ laid out in Scripture: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.” It was a season of struggle and loneliness, while at the same time, a season of finding complete joy and satisfaction in Christ. There is no real way to make sense of that, other than to say, in the first 8 years Christ truly became our all in all.
The last 4 years have been a season filled with great excitement as we have watched the Lord do the impossible. From what started in 2005 as a .77 cent offering each week at Highland Community Church, we watched the Lord multiply into providing enough funds to start Truth Spring Inc., open a school, and start a housing program. In case you missed that, I said .77 cents! The only way to describe that is, a miracle! We have literally watched the Lord fulfill the promise found in Matthew 6:33, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and ALL these things will be added to you.” As we have sought nothing more than His Kingdom and His glory, He has seen fit to do the adding. And here’s the really exciting part, it’s only just begun. Which leads me to proclaiming from the rooftop what I believe our next season is going to look like.
I believe we are about to enter into a season of harvest! A season of bearing fruit, much fruit, and fruit that remains (John 15). If I were to summarize the last 12 years of what God has personally been doing in me and in our family than it would be Romans 4:19. It states, “Without becoming weak in faith…and with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.” God has been developing a steadfast and unwavering faith in us. A faith that determines our feelings, not feelings that determine our faith. A faith that sees beyond the physical and into the spiritual. A faith that with confidence declares what is to come, before any evidence has yet to be seen. Truth Spring supporters, I am convinced through much prayer and time spent in God’s word, that we are about to experience a season of harvest in the North Highland community. All the labor and toil over the last 12 years is getting ready to produce a harvest of righteousness. As I said earlier, over the years the Lord has given our family many promises regarding the work He is going to do in North Highland, but the very first promise He ever gave us was one you have heard me quote many times from Ezekiel 36:33-36. A portion of it states, “On the day that I cleanse you from your sins, I will rebuild the waste places.” In the last year alone there has been more discussion and more plans made for rebuilding the North Highland neighborhood than all 11 previous years combined! The physical rebuilding of our community is nearing it’s appointed time which is so exciting. However, what excites me even more is the order of the promise made in Ezekiel. According to the promise, before the rebuilding there must first come a cleansing. I believe this will be a cleansing so powerful that it won’t just change the landscape of the community, but it will actually change the hearts of the people – and heart change is the only change that has the power to produce genuine, lasting community revitalization. Why am I telling you this? Because when it happens I want you to remember this: God is real; God answers prayer; and God is trustworthy. What He says, He will do.
May we all with great faith and expectant prayer, await the coming glory of the Lord and the start of a new season – a season of harvest.