As I walked through the orchard at The Way International Headquarters, I was thinking about the agricultural forecasts I’d heard earlier that season. Every one of the reports had cited the previous winter’s harsh temperatures and above-normal snowfall as being indicators of a mediocre crop for that year. Although the fruit produced by our orchard is not a necessary part of the operations at Headquarters, it is a big blessing, and we always want to see God’s abundance.
Having worked in the Grounds Department, I know the crew takes godly pride in stewarding the apple trees and works heartily to do it well. Staff from other Departments can also give by volunteering to help prune and maintain the trees and then harvest the fruit produced. In addition, the in-residence Way Corps at The Way International often help when the harvest is large. We also want the orchard to be a visible blessing to all who drive down Wierwille Road, whether it’s a local resident or a carload of radiant believers coming in for a Sunday Teaching Service. We welcome the opportunity to be witnesses of God’s abundance and to show how He works with us as we trust in His ability and believe His promises.
This particular year, however, presented challenges we had not yet encountered. There was not much we could do in the orchard beyond our ordinary work schedule, so we decided to do our best and believe that God would do the rest and bring great results.
As the year progressed, the orchard outlook began to take shape. We planned and completed our spring pruning and carried out the necessary processes to maintain the health of the apple trees. About midsummer we noticed that the trees were looking more heavily laden with new, green apples than we had ever noticed before. This look of abundance continued, and the resulting number of apple crates that we filled matched our most abundant harvest on record—with the quality of the apples being excellent!
God had made our efforts fruitful in more ways than one. We had seen Him at work to give us an abundant harvest to enjoy. That was just a few seasons ago. Since then I have often thought of what we do to open the door for God to bless us so we can be witnesses of His abundance. We plant and water, as I Corinthians 3:6 tells us, but it’s God Who gives the increase.
Let’s look at some specific godly principles that we can apply in the field of agriculture to be a witness for our heavenly Father.
To begin, we decide to trust in God as our sufficiency. In our situation we could have listened to the early crop forecasts and given up, deciding not to put our efforts into the orchard. We read in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”
Looking at worldly circumstances rarely gives us the support or encouragement we need to be successful. Instead, we can trust in God. Trusting in God is a decision we make, and God’s Word is full of accounts of believers who were blessed by doing so. The Book of Psalms tells us how to have God’s blessings.
Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust….
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
A green olive tree in the house of the Lord paints a picture that denotes life, growth, and fruit. These are things we as believers want in our lives. Putting our trust in God when things look difficult or even impossible is a theme we can see throughout the Word of God. And God blesses His people individually and collectively as they decide to trust in Him. Trusting in God as our sufficiency gives us the freedom and confidence to enter into endeavors that others might be fearful to undertake. We know that fear prevents people from growing, achieving, and prospering. Rather than holding back in fear, we trust in God!
The next principle we want to apply is believing. We build believing by thinking the thoughts we ought to think according to the Word of God. Then we maintain a steadfast grasp on those thoughts for whatever time it takes to bring to pass the thing we are believing for.
Mark 11:23 and 24:
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The Greek word translated “receive” here in verse 24 means to receive into manifestation. God’s Word tells us to believe to the point that we’ve actually got it and can see it. We trust in God’s ability to fulfill His Word, and we believe to see it become a reality. Knowing God’s goodness and faithfulness to His Word and that all things are possible to him that believes (Mark 9:23), we just stay focused on the godly result until we see it….
This is an excerpt from the March/April 2017 issue of The Way Magazine.
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