"The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God." – Genesis 17:8
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.;”
– Matthew 9:37-38
By the time Jesus spoke these words in Matthew’s Gospel, he had a sizable following; however, he had not yet set apart the twelve. None of his disciples had been appointed to ministry. None of them had been given authority over unclean spirits or sicknesses. And none of them had received the call to go and preach the gospel. No, as we listen to Jesus’ words here, he bestows an important principle upon us regarding the work and ministry of God. It must begin with prayer.
Rather than point the disciples to the harvest and say, ‘Get out there and start working!’, Jesus told them to get on their knees and seek the Lord of the Harvest. Why is that? Why, if the fields were ready to be worked, shouldn’t they have begun working?
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is the master. We’re the servants. He calls His people and He sets them where He wants them. Fortunately, he has a foresight that we can’t even begin to imagine, for he has seen the end from the beginning. As a result, he knows who to call where and when. He has an understanding of who is best equipped to work in certain ministries and areas. After all, He is the giver of every spiritual gift. There is reason in everything he does.
So, what does it mean for us? It means that we don’t have to worry about where or how we can serve Christ. He will call us and give us the opportunity. We don’t have to search for ministry. He will anoint and appoint us for the jobs He chooses. Sometimes we may get to serve in a capacity that humbles us. Other times, we’ll be honored. But, if we’ll allow him to send us as His workers, we can be assured that we’ll always be working in His will.
If you read on, Matthew records in the very next few verses that Christ appointed the twelve disciples and “gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” But it all started with prayer. And it’s no different today, before any ministry can be successfully begun, it must be borne out of prayer. Before any minister can truly serve, he must be called through prayer. Prayer is our source of divine direction! Let us seek and listen for the Heavenly Directives; praying for reinforcements all of the time. May God bless us with more workers and with more faithfulness to do the work!