Rain and Harvest

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (James 5:17-18 ESV)

James tells us that Elijah's prayers are a pattern for our own. Eliajh's prayers opened and closed the heavens; an authority that is now invested with the church [Matthew 18:18].

The results of Elijah's prayers are telling. There was a response both from heaven and the earth. Heaven gave forth its rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit. The Greek word used for fruit is "karpos" which can also be translated as "harvest". Elijah prayed for the rain from heaven and the harvest from the earth.

The response in the natural realm to Elijah's prayers, are a pattern for the response in the spiritual realm to the prayers of the church. We are those with authority from God to pray down the refreshing rain of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and pray forth the harvest of souls from the earth.

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain (Zechariah 10:1 NASB)

Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38 ESV)


Blessed are the meek

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 ESV

This is a much misunderstood and overlooked passage of Scripture. The root of the problem is the unfortunate associations with the word "meek" in the English translation. It often puts in mind an image of one who is weak and helpless, or the kind of timid soul who wouldn't say boo to a goose. Is this the kind of meekness that is blessed by the Lord? Are these the kind of individuals that will inherit the earth?

The scriptures are clear; there is nothing weak or timid about the Spirit we have received from God.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2Timoty 1:7 NIV)

Moreover, we know that the Spirit we have received is the Spirit of Christ, and that meekness was part of his nature [2Co 10:1]. So this Christ-kind of meekness cannot have anything to do with timidity or weakness.

Vines describes meekness as "an inwrought grace of the soul. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting." [Adjective,4239,praos]

A better translation might therefore be "soft-hearted" or "yielded-obedience". It is this kind of meekness towards God and our brothers and sisters in Christ that carries the blessing of God.

We know from the examples of Abraham on Moriah, and Christ in Gethsemane, that such yielded obedience, far from conveying inner weakness or timidity, is actually borne out of the toughest kind of inner steel!

Any parent will know that this kind of meekness does not come naturally to their children. There is a stubborn wilfulness that runs through the heart, and an independent streak coupled with foolish pride that thinks it knows better than the instructions given. Any parent will know the frustration in dealing with this kind of attitude in their children, and also the joy and pleasure it brings their heart when their children obey the first time without questioning or grumbling.

So it is with our heavenly father and us. True meekness is a joy to his heart. It is this kind of meekness he is looking for in his church today and in your life and mine.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom (James 3:13 ESV)