Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sending the Seventy, part 2

Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:1-2 NASB)

In the previous post, we looked at the two areas of responsibility for the harvest. There are those that go to gather the harvest (the uttermost ends of the earth) and those who stay at home and pray. Those who pray and those who go make a perfect team to get the job of harvest done. 

On closer inspection, we find that Jesus' instructions about praying for the harvest were first directed to the seventy, the "sent ones". It turns out that the ones who go have a big job of intercession, as well. Why? It is not because they are somehow "better". They are not better at faith, in their Christian life, or in their prayers. It is simply much easier to pray with insight when you are "on site", isn't it? Seeing the need helps us to better understand what it will take to meet the need and gives us a better understanding of how to pray. 

This is the idea behind "prayer walking". Intercessors go to a specific town or area of a town, walk through, and pray as they walk, allowing the Holy Spirit to prompt their heart as they see the needs with their eyes. In a way, the on site sight brings greater insight. That's an awkwardly complex sentence that conveys the idea behind prayer walking. It's praying with your eyes wide open to see the needs around you. 

When Jesus sent the seventy, they were to go to the towns and villages where He was going. At that time, His going had flesh and blood restrictions. Because he was wrapped in flesh, He could not be everywhere at once. Now, because of His Holy Spirit, our omniscient, omnipresent Lord is everywhere at once. No matter where we go, He precedes us, and that means everywhere is a potential harvest field. Even if we never leave our home town, there is a harvest just waiting for those serving as the hands and feet of Jesus. Look around. There are multitudes of people who need Jesus all around us and they are waiting for those of us who know Him to make the introduction. 

In our family, we usually make a donation in honor of our family members at Christmas rather than elaborate gifts, and we will continue that tradition again this year. As I'm writing this morning, it seems that a gift of harvesting might be the one gift that would most please our Lord. Walk or drive through your town, eyes wide open to see the needs around you. As you see those needs, pray that God will send someone to meet the need. Pray for each home, each family. Pray for the homeless, the lonely, the grieving. Pray for the lost, those who are wandering from their faith, those who are wondering about faith, and those who are certain about their faith. Pray that God will send exactly who He wants to meet the need, bring the Word, provide comfort and tangible goods. Pray that He will send someone to tell the news about Jesus. Don't be surprised, though, if the one He sends is you. 

There is a harvest, and we are the ones who are called to bring it in. Open your eyes, reach our your hands, and get your feet on the ground. Someone is waiting for you to introduce them to Jesus. 
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