The Parable of the Faithful Farmer

Only God can make a field of corn grow, but He has chosen not to do so alone. His method includes human help. To produce a harvest the farmer must have a vision to plant the field, prepare the soil, plant the seed, regularly water the ground, routinely add fertilizer, tend the young stalks, and finally bring in the harvest.

Here's the point: If at any stage the farmer decides to "trust in the Lord" without doing his part, the crop will fail. If he skips any step, no harvest. The crop may fail for other reasons, but it will certainly fail for this reason.

Here's an application: Whether you are cultivating customers or converts, you must continue to water and fertilize those relationships. You shouldn't expect them to be responsive or take the initiative in any way, ever. The farmer doesn't expect the ground to plow itself.

And here's another application: asking someone for the order is like bringing in the harvest. Only the farmer can do it, and if he doesn't the harvest will go to waste.

Finally: If you have thought you could "slide by" in your church work because "God is on your side" or "I'm doing this for the Lord," you have made a serious error. God does not have two sets of rules – one for commerce and one for ministry, one for the secular world and one for the spiritual world. No, God has one set of rules for both spiritual and secular farmers alike.

So here's what we can conclude: When you execute and don't skip any of the "known" steps in your process--that's what it means to be faithful. And as a result, God is not inhibited by our lack of faithfulness. That's when you will produce a crop, "30, 60, or even 100 times what was sown" (Matthew 13:23).