HAVE YOU ANSWERED YOUR CALL FROM THE LORD?
THE HARVEST IS RIPE BUT THE LABORS ARE FEW (MATTHEW 9:36-38)
We begin our lesson today and for the rest of the week praying for labors to go forth and gather in the Gospel Harvest. We asked the question, “HAVE YOU ANSWERED YOUR CALL FROM THE LORD? Now we set before you the path in which it all must unfold by asking this next question; “How can we be in real sympathy with Christ unless we love the work of laboring in this Gospel harvest, and long to be commissioned to go forth and put in our sickle with our own hand?” “THE HARVEST IS RIPE BUT THE LABORS ARE FEW!”
Most certainly, if we were in Christ‘s spirit we should say — I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I strengthen till it be accomplished? We should cry out, Lord, let me go! Let me go — for dying millions are just now perishing in their sins. How can I pray God to send out others if I am in heart unwilling to go myself? I have heard many say — O that I was young; how I should rejoice to go myself. This seems like a state of mind that can honestly pray for God to send forth laborers.
The spirit of this prayer implies that we are willing to make any personal sacrifices in order to go. Are not men always willing to make personal sacrifices in order to gain the great object of their heart‘s desire? Did ever a merchant, seeking goodly pearls, find one of great value but he was quite willing to go and sell all that he had and buy it?
Moreover, an honest heart before God in this prayer implies that you are willing to
do all you can to prepare your selves to accomplish this work. Each young man or young woman should say God requires something of me in this work. It may be God wants you as a servant in some missionary family; if so, you are ready to go. No matter what the work may be no labor done for God or for man is degrading. In the spirit of this prayer, you will say — If I may but wash the feet of my Lord‘s servants, I shall richly enjoy it. All young person’s especially, feeling that life is before them, should say — I must devote myself, in the most effective way possible, to the promotion of my Savior‘s cause. Suppose a man bows his soul in earnest prayer before. God, saying, “O Lord, send out hosts of men into this harvest-field,” does not this imply that he girds himself up for this work with his might? Does it not imply that he is ready to do the utmost he can in any way whatever?
Again, this prayer, made honestly, implies that we do all we can to prepare others to go out. Our prayer, will be, “Lord, give us hearts to prepare others, and get as many ready as possible and as well prepared as possible for the gathering in of this great harvest.”
Of course it is also implied that we abstain from whatever would hinder us, and make no arrangements that would tie our hands. Many young Christians do this, sometimes heedlessly, often in a way which shows that they are by no means fully set to do God‘s work, first of all.
When we honestly pray God to send out laborers, and our own circumstances allow us to go, we are to expect that He will send us. What! Does God need laborers of every description, and will He not send us? Depend on it, He will send out the man who prays right, and whose heart is deeply and fully with God. And we need not be suspicious lest God should lack the needful wisdom to manage His matters well. He will put all His men where they should be, into the fields they are best qualified to fill. The good reaper will be put into his post, sickle in hand; and if there are feeble ones who can only glean, He puts them there.
One indispensable part of this preparation is a heart for it. Most plainly so, for God wants no men in Hisharvest-field whose hearts are not there. You would not want workmen in your field who have no heart for their work. Neither does God. But He expects us to have this preparation. And He will accept of no man’s excuse from service that he has no heart to engage in it. The want of a heart for this work is not your misfortune, but your fault, your great and damning sin.