The Principles of Seed, Time, and Harvest
Our lives are shaped on one concept and one concept only, the law of Seed, Time, and Harvest. Everything is cause and effect. I believe that our lives are shaped by those things that we put out. Seed, Time, and Harvest is a simple concept. It is when you sow something, such as a seed, into a host, wait for time and then reap a harvest. Seed, Time, and Harvest in its simplest form can be witnessed in the vegetation that we witness when we go outside. At minimum, the purpose of all living things is to reproduce and create. At best, this means we are supposed to produce things with our life. Your life should be lived out according to the concepts of Seed, Time, and Harvest. What are the concepts of Seed, Time, and Harvest? Imagine you are a farmer; you first must prepare your ground. The next thing you must do is sow the seed in that ground. The last thing you must do is reap the harvest for its purpose.
Preparing the Gift
In Agriculture, you cannot plant seed in ground that is not cultivated. The ground has to be aerated. Cultivation allows this to take place. What does cultivation mean? Cultivation can be applied in agriculture to mean preparing grounds for seeding. In other definitions, cultivation pertains to the mind. It means it is the process of acquiring a new skill quality, or additional knowledge. This is the beginning of being able to apply the principles of seed, time and harvest in your life. You have to start with your mind first. Imagine again that you are a farmer. No farmer reaps a harvest without first already knowing what it is that he or she would like to reap. This means that the farmer has to have intent to plant a certain seed to reap a certain harvest. The state of your mind is going to determine what intents and motives you live your life with. Those motives and intents lead to actions that sow seeds that will eventually reap into what you know as your daily experience. This means in order to control what you reap, you have to control what you sow. In order to control what you sow you have to control your intent.
I often testify about when I heard a pastor exhorting in 2013 and he referenced Psalms 20:4. That scripture spoke to me so deeply in that moment in my life. I have come to realize that is the reason why I am reaping what I am reaping in this moment today. That scripture said the sluggard is lazy in autumn but looks to spring for a harvest and is disappointed. Then the next verse says a man’s purpose is deep within his heart and [that} man, with understanding knows how to dig it out. I understood something very wise in that moment. I understand that the purpose for which we are here lies deep within us. I further learned that it takes knowledge and understanding to discover what that purpose is. You have to search for knowledge and understanding on purpose. If you do not search for it, you will find yourself in the spring season of your life saying, “I should be making this, or I should have this.” What you will not be willing to admit is that in autumn, you failed to cultivate your mind. You failed to follow out the processes of seed, time, and harvest. You have to cultivate your mind if you intend to reach a certain harvest in life. If today, you are without something, then it means yesterday, you did not have intent to ensure that you would not be without it today. You failed to sow into your today. Seed, Time, and Harvest begins with the intent to sow the seed. How can you cultivate yourself to be able to sow into your life for a better harvest later? Think on the gifts that you have. Those gifts are like the climate and the land that you have. If I am a farmer in a certain geographic, then the geographic tells me what seed to cultivate my grounds for. If I am in a tropical climate then I know that I can make intent to sow seeds of tropical fruit or things that do well in tropical climates. This is how your gift works. God gives you the land in the form of your gift. You take that gift and you determine what is it that you can make flourish from that gift. Find out all that you can about it so that you can begin sowing.
Sow Seeds Into Your Gift
Once you have cultivated your ground, you are now ready to take what you have learned and sow it into your gift. I want you to know that this is going to be the hardest part of the process. The reason that is the case is because you will have to put in a lot of effort on something that will appear like it is doing nothing. Imagine you just planted a seed in the ground, and you water it and water it for days and weeks, only to still see a bare ground. The principle is called “seed, TIME, and Harvest”. There is time that has to elapse between the seeding and the harvest. But, during this time, you have to still use that understanding you gained while cultivating to ensure that your seed is getting what it needs to produce a harvest for you. Do not despise small beginnings. I am a witness that when you first plant that seed and you start to water it and water it and water it, you will want to give up. You WILL want to give up! Do not let the ‘time’ part of the principle make you become discouraged. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there is a time for everything. There is a time to plant and there is a time to pluck up what has been planted. Before the time to pluck up comes, it will be very tempting to pull your harvest before its time. This is a rough time as well because a farmer has to ensure bugs and pests, birds and the alike, do not come in and tear away at the harvest that the gift has produced for him. Likewise, do not be tempted to move to fast. Stay in the season of grooming that God has you in. The worst thing you can do to your efforts is move to reaping your harvest too soon. Trust me that all the knowledge and understanding that you gained while cultivating your gift will do what it needs to do to ensure that your gift will flourish in the long term.
Reap the Harvest and Know What to Do With It
The time has come. You have sown in your seeds to a cultivated gift and a harvest has come. Sometimes the gift will flourish so well that you will feel overwhelmed. This is the moment that you have to recall the intent. Why did you sow in the first place? You knew there would be a harvest to come but what was it that you needed to do with this harvest? This is where a lot of people go left. When their gift makes room for them and places them before great men, they begin to deviate from the original intent. Remember when you said, “God if you would just allow my gift to produce, I just want to help your people, etc”? God finally allowed that to happened because you watered your gift but instead of helping people, you used it to steal from the people. This is just an example of how people sometimes go left when the gift flourishes. What if the gift was to be used to take better care of your family but when the gift actually started earning some serious money, you became stingy and selfish? This is another example of how the harvest can make you go left.
In agriculture, a farmer plants a field for one of two purposes. He will either use the harvest to distribute to others at a market or he will use the harvest for his family or farm animals. It does you no good to cultivate your gift and seed efforts into growing it if when it is full grown, you still do not know what to do with it. When the gift becomes fully grown, it will wait only a little while to be used before it spoils away. You do not want this to occur. You need to continue to reap the harvest so that you can continue to expand your gift. A farmer will sell his harvest and make enough money to go out and reseed his field again. Take a lesson from the farmer on how he or she executes seed, time, and harvest and apply it to the gifts in your life.
How will you apply what has been taught here? Remember your gift is like the fields given to a farmer. Before a farmer can use that field to prosper his wellbeing, he has to first cultivate it. You must do this with your gift as well. After he cultivates it, he will take that cultivated field and sow seeds into it and take care of the seed. After the seeds have sprouted, he will then watch over the harvest to ensure nothing comes along to damage it. The day will come where it will be time to reap the harvest. When the reaping happens, you must do with the harvest what you intended to do with it from the start.