Weekly Sabbath Survey
Field Hand Ministry — 5-14- 2016
As time goes along with each powerful move of God, the excitement and enthusiasm always eventually declines. In the 70’s and 80’s, churches and meeting places nationwide were filled to capacity with people searching for, finding, and celebrating, the power and presence of God. Almost every meeting was anointed with the Presence of Holy Spirit. Healing, deliverance, salvation — it was all there. It was a peek at heaven from right here on Earth. Was it real? Oh, yes. I believe with all my heart it was. I was there!
But as time went on, the crowds got smaller. The bright light of that time started to dim. Many of us became so satisfied, the hungry-for-God part simply went away. We had grown “fat’ on the blessings of God. We loved the fellowship with each other so much, we hardly noticed when the Lord’s manifest presence was moving away, until it was just gone. Everybody wants to eat at His table, but few want to in His fields.
When my family farmed in the 1950’s, the term ‘field hand’ was in common usage. “Juan” was our field hand. He helped with everything. He came from Mexico where there were two classes of people: the Haves and the Have Nots. His meager wages my Daddy could afford fed and clothed his children back home. The Border Patrol took him away once. Mama and I stood on the dry dirt in front of our house and cried as they drove him away. Daddy was working in San Antonio, away from his own family like Juan. So Mama and I depended on Juan during the week to keep the farm running. He was back in less than two weeks, and we were very glad to see him! He was a good man and a hard worker.
Jesus used agricultural references frequently in His teachings. It was something most people in His time were familiar with. Believers today are way more ‘city mouse’ than country. The actual hard work on a farm is foreign to them. Belonging to the Lord is more like a fun vacation trip than WORK. We must realize that our saved life is not a trip to “Jesus Land.” And working for Him on a weekend afternoon using a self-propelled lawn mower does NOT a farm hand make! God’s ministry is a sun-up to sun-down DAILY life. Yes, there are Sunday-Go-To-Meetin’ times, barn dances, and big celebrations when a harvest is safely gathered in. But cows have to be milked every day (twice.) Animals have to be turned out to pasture every morning and brought back to safety in the evening. Eggs have to be gathered. Lambs, kids, and calves don’t care who they keep up all night while they are being born!
And to be very honest, weariness and failure are sprinkled all around. There are no guarantees that every trial will end in victory for the farmer or the servant of the Lord. But in spite of the bad things that happen, the loss of zeal, the urge to quit, the Lord gives us times of refreshing. And there is special servants whose ‘job’ is to encourage and care for the Field Hands and help them find rest and healing when needed.
God’s dedicated No-Turning-Back servants must maintain a desire for more of Him, and the mandate to work for Him, which is the reason for NOT just giving up and going back to the old life. No matter where we climb up to in the Lord, there is always more until we reach our eternal reward. From those lofty heights, we will go back down to the valley where the WORK is. We get out and run with Him. And we serve Him. We roll up our sleeves and work in His fields.
God has fields everywhere. Your field is where you are right now, and where God may take you in the future. We do not seek something beyond the here and now, We just do the ministry of peace and love where we are now. Do what you can, where you are, with what God gave you to work with. Spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus. Spread it among friends at work, people you play cards with, your golfing buddies, and the greatest and nearest and most important field: your own family. There is nothing like leading a member of your family to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
(Jesus said,) Look here! You must open your eyes and see the fields are ripe toward harvest. Now, the one who reaps earns wages and gathers fruit into eternal life. John 4:35-36
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright October 2015
Picture: A. Dienst (American, 20th century) Naive depiction of African American field hand
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