Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gleaning or Harvesting?

Hearing From God for yourself - a guest post from Nancy Minor. Good Read:

"Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn." - Rth_2:2

Brown-Driver_Briggs' Lexicon Glean: 1) to pick up, gather, glean, gather up. To collect oneself.

Merriam-Webster Old Irish : he selects. intransitive verb1: to gather grain or other produce left by reapers2: to gather information or material bit by bit. transitive verb1 a: to pick up after a reaper b: to strip (as a field) of the leavings of reapers2 a: to gather (as information) bit by bit b: to pick over in search of relevant material

HARVEST: Latin Carpere ( from whence we get car·pe di·em- pluck or seize the day!)To Pluck, gather, transitive verb 1 a: to gather in (a crop)

Do you know the difference between gleaning and harvesting? When you harvest a field, you go into a field that is ripe and full of produce and you start picking the fruit. When you go to glean, you are taking the leftovers from where others have already harvested. Or you are picking through material that has already been harvested to see what you can find that may be of use to you. So you are either looking through the left over pile, or you are digging through someone else's treasures to glean from their precious efforts.

Now there is nothing wrong per-se' with gleaning from other people's knowledge and understanding. That is why there are Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers- for the edifying and building up of the saints to equip them for the work of the ministry.

I am going to make a radical statement next, but before you stone me
(my minister friends and blog readers at large-) please read ALL the way to the bottom!

There IS something wrong, if you always have to run to this preacher or that minister, or some prophet to receive "a word from the Lord."

But aren't they put into place to give us the Word of the Lord? Yes, in their offices, they are put into that position of authority and responsibility by the Lord Himself ( unless they are self appointed, man called, and then you'd better discern and run!) And God does give us those words to speak. The problem lies in the expectation and responsibility of the hearers. Some, (not all) think they can ONLY hear God through another Man or Woman of God. Just as some erroneously believe that they must go through their local church official to get to God.

Paul addresses this: 1Ti 2:5 (AMP) For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (MSG) that there's one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us--Jesus,

God Himself speaks on this in the Old Testament BEFORE Jesus was born- how much more loudly and eloquently is the saying now?

Isaiah 1:18 (CEV) I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.

Now surely the Lord would not invite us to come into His Chambers to "talk things over," if He did not intend to speak directly to us!

Do not become SO accustom to spoon feeding, that you can not graze for yourself. The shepherd's job was to lead the sheep to good grazing ground, and to watch over them while they ate, guarding them against attack of any kind.

Jesus said: John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Now I want to break that down for you a little. "To go in and out." What does He mean, in and out? The word "IN' has these meanings in the Greek: to enter, of things: as food, that enters into the eater’s mouth, of entrance into any condition, state of things, society, employment, to arise, come into existence, begin to be, to come into life.

The shepherd watched that the sheep don't get into nightshade or some other poisonous plant. So too , we need to be mindful what we eat! Scripture tells us, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19. That doesn't mean just money!

When you enter "IN" you begin to "BE" what God intended for you all along. You come into a condition of being IN Christ, connected to the vine. You find (spiritual) employment in God's Kingdom, and start to really LIVE the ZOE (God kind of) life.

So then why would you "Go OUT"? Good question! Let's look at the meanings. Strong's Concordance puts it simply: "spread abroad. " Thayer's: 1) to go or come forth of 1a) with mention of the place out of which one goes, or the point from which he departs.

We go out and spread abroad (make mention of) the goodness of the Lord that we experience in His Presence. We go forth and spread out like a tree planted by the waters that the shepherd led us to... and we provide shelter for others by what we have in our lives through the time we spent IN His Presence.

Find Pasture:
1) pasturage, fodder, food 1a) fig. he shall not want the needful supplies for the true life 2) growth, increase (like gangrene increases- so too we should spread and increase) even as is spoken of in 2Corinthians:
2Cor. 2:14 But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere, 2Co 2:15 For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: 2Co 2:16 To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh].

Jesus said HE is our shepherd and IN HIM we will find pasture and be fed and grow. Does He use others to bless us? Yes, absolutely! But He doesn't want us to always be looking for the next person with the next "new word" for us. He has plenty of "Words" for us. Most of them are found in the BIBLE! He will supplement that with "a Word" through a
willing vessel. But we should be seeking HIS WORD not "Words." Seeking HIM, not "A Word from Him" but seeking HE HIMSELF.

When we "GO IN" we will find sweet intimacy and communion and "words" tenderly spoken to our hearts, as well as words of correction and warning.

Jesus tells us something so profound and beautiful in the Word and yet we have skipped over it in favor of running to another meeting to "get a word!"

John 16:25-27 I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve). At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary]. For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.

For those of you who have been caught up in that cycle of running and seeking and never being satisfied, I urge you: "Come into His presence and settle down and let Him speak to your heart." He longs for that more than you!

And to my fellow ministers, I issue this gentle reminder: "Watch that you do not perpetuate dependency on YOU instead of the Lord. Always point them to the Lord and to His Word, even when delivering the God given message He would have you to speak. Our job is to equip them, not make them co-dependent!"

Oh me! or Amen! Stone me if you must! I have spoken what He put into my heart to speak. I trust that you will "chew on it" for a while.

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