Hey guys… I’m back!! Hope you are all well…
So, our church has been catapulted into a season where we are being forced to change; DON’T PANIC!!! This is a good thing, I promise… God is dealing with us in a very special way that will cause us to face truths about ourselves, truths we don’t necessarily want to accept.
Our fantastic leadership have been speaking to us a lot about cultivation. Every time I hear this word I picture a farmer on his land, tending to his crops or feeding his flock. Then I heard God say, “We must become a church that administrates spiritual agriculture…” WOW!! What does this even mean?
OK, well let’s look into it… If you know me, I love facts and how the world works. Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of farming and agriculture!! (Yippee!!). A day in the life of a farmer requires them to be an early riser, with a full day planned ahead of jobs to do and tasks to complete.
In order for the animals to grow healthily they must be fed. For the crops and plants to grow they must be watered, nurtured and exposed to the correct environmental conditions. To sell crops and livestock they must all meet the given standards in order to be made available for retail. Hold up, Stephen, where are you going with all of this? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.
What if I told you that we need to orchestrate our lives in the same way? I’m not saying you need to get up early each day (although it wouldn’t hurt to change ones lifestyle), but we DO need to have an attitude where our focus is cultivating our own lives.
Cultivation by definition is first to prepare and use, and second, to grow and maintain. Abel did a great job of cultivating his flock when he offered it to God. The New International Version (NIV) says he gave FAT portions from the firstborn of the cattle, and God was pleased (Genesis 4:4). So how do WE apply this to ourselves?
We MUST pray daily; yes, I know this is hard sometimes but we have to do it. Can you imagine one day the farmer who usually gets up at 4am each day decided to get up at 6.30am instead? You may be thinking, surely he could get away with it for one day, but do you realise how much havoc it could create? How behind would the farmer be with his workload? The whole process would be out of sync and he would be playing catch up for the whole day… THIS IS EXACTLY like us!!! When we don’t pray, our lives are open to havoc and disorder.
We MUST read His Word. Let’s imagine everything is going well on the farm. It’s feeding time and the farmer feeds all the animals but he forgets to feed the cows and sheep!! Their growth and development suffers an imbalance, which in turn messes with the potential income the farmer could receive from his cattle. The same goes for us when we don’t read His word. Can you imagine the imbalance and malnutrition we suffer daily for not feeding ourselves with His Holy nourishment?
Joseph gives an interpretation to Pharaoh about the years of plenty and famine. He warns that we must harvest what we have in order to prepare ourselves for hardship. We must do the same; we must feed ourselves and maintain our growth for when we face adversity and trials.
We MUST be in His house. Everyday the farmer takes the correct measures to ensure his crops and plants grow to their full potential. If this process is interrupted, the growth will be stunted and the produce will not be at its best. Hebrews 10:25 teaches us not to forsake the assembling of the saints (gathering together for church in our case), but to meet and encourage each other in God’s house. This is the perfect environment for spiritual growth and somewhere we can get guidance from our leaders when we find it difficult to bloom.
We ALL need to grow. Our Father needs us to grow and be spiritually mature. If we continue to cultivate every aspect of our being, God can use us in ways we can’t begin to imagine. Essentially, cultivation is practice; repetition with excellence and improvement. Let’s keep growing in Him and with Him.
BY: STEPHEN MCCORMACK