Farming? What's farming got to do with a bunch of people living a mere 20 minutes from downtown LA? Might as well be talking about rocket science. Actually we do have some rocket scientists here in the church...but...besides that...
So what's the point? Farming can be boiled down to three things: Sowing, waiting, and reaping. (A little water in between wouldn't hurt, but you get the point...). In his message last Sunday on the parable of the weeds Ron addressed certain realities we face as Christians. First, God is the one sowing and reaping. God is the divine farmer and he is in charge of both. He sows us as his people into the world fully aware we are surrounded by the weeds of this world, and he allows both the opportunity to grow together. He doesn't remove evil from the world. This growing process takes time, and in this case until the "end of the age". That has been a long time, and nobody knows when it will culminate. This means waiting, and few if any of us like that. We are not fans of waiting. We like instant. God likes waiting. I know...its not fair, he lives in eternity, but...oh well. We must wait. But we must keep in mind God's purpose in waiting is to give people the time and opportunity to repent. To get all the wheat in place for the time of the harvest. No one wants judgement to come prematurely. Only God knows the right time for that judgement and all we need to know is that we want as many people as possible to escape that.
God is sowing us as his seed into a corrupt world that is bent on rejecting him and is headed full force into his judgement. The problem is often the weeds can look very similar to the wheat. Do we really want judgement right now? In this reality patience is a great virtue. We don't want any 'wheat' to miss out on God's final harvest. We all feel the weight of injustice and the desire for God to make all things right, but we need to realize that only God in his perfect wisdom knows the right timing for that.
While we are here we have been sown by God to grow. His "divine power" is at work in you to cause you to be more like him. Growth is rarely easy, but it is always rewarding in the end. The alternative is to be ineffectual, unfruitful and even blind. God knows the trials that living in a corrupt world brings but this only means he knows what it takes to rescue those struggling in such a world. Be patient. Grow. Let God work in you and rescue you. Trust him. Wait.
When you do that you put yourself in a position to be used by God as he designed. He has sown you into this world to draw to him those he has called. We are used by God to bring rescue to people. Be patient. God is using you to bring about rescue to others. We are called to (Isa 58:6-7) to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh. (meaning your neighbor). Waiting is not passive its active. God's delay is our opportunity to be used by him to accomplish his purpose until he brings it all to and end.
Some questions to discuss:
1. Why is waiting so hard?
2. What are some of the things we can be doing while we wait?
3. What does it mean to be sown into this world by God?