Thanksgiving is a timeless American tradition when we gather with family and friends to eat heartily, and give thanks to God. What’s equally important to know is why our Thanksgiving holiday was established.
The first Thanksgiving, in 1621, was a festival to celebrate and exalt the Lord for a gloriously abundant harvest. After a brutal winter killed nearly half of the new settlers in their first year in Plymouth, the Pilgrims fasted and prayed for answers. Shortly afterward, the Wampanoag Indians approached them in friendship and helped them survive in the New World. With prayer and openness, the Pilgrims and Indians embraced a long-lasting peace treaty that forged new friendships and abundant harvests the settlers never expected.
So the settlers did what all good Christians do: After their first autumn harvest, they gave thanks to God! Family and friends gathered together with the Wampanoag tribe for the first Thanksgiving festival, featuring worship, athletic events, meals and feasting. It wasn’t just a dinner; it was a celebration!
As we enter this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, let’s continue to be thankful for what God has done in our lives, in our families and in this nation. If you feel that you haven’t reaped all that you hoped this year, keep releasing your faith. Whether you’re believing for healing, finances or family salvations, God wants you to experience His abundance of blessings. To help you receive more than enough, here are 5 Ways To Reap an Abundant Harvest.
1. Sow Your Seed
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” –Genesis 8:22 (NKJV)
Did you know that you were created to sow and then reap? Giving regularly is biblical and wonderful, and it opens the door for God to meet our needs. But that’s not all God wants to do for us. He wants us to benefit from our giving, with His fullness and His abundance. As Kenneth Copeland says, “He didn’t just promise to give us food to eat and seed to sow, He promised to multiply that seed and give us a harvest.”
Since we want to reap the abundant harvest He has for us, we need to understand what the Bible says about sowing and reaping.
First, we must plant seed into good soil. As we listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance, we give our offerings to our church, as well as the time, money, and love we sow into others (Luke 6:38).
Second, we cannot depend on our tithes to be our seed. The Word says our tithes are the first-fruits of our increase and a returning to the Lord what is His. Tithing promises to multiply our seed, but not to be our seed. More importantly, tithing keeps the devourer away and protects our harvest (Proverbs 3:9-10; Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10-11).
Third, sowing and reaping will require your faith. Just as a farmer wouldn’t wait for the perfect weather or circumstance to sow seed, neither should you. Be attentive and listen to the Lord for opportunities to sow into your church or someone else’s life. If you are a good giver, you will reap a bountiful harvest(Ecclesiastes 11:4; Galatians 6:9).
2. Water Your Seed
“Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.” –Psalm 67:5-6 (NKJV)
Just as we wouldn’t plant a seed in good soil and expect it to grow without water, we shouldn’t sow a spiritual seed and expect it to water itself. We water our spiritual seeds through praise. The deeper your praise, the more it works on your seed like Miracle Gro®. Your audible praise and speaking the Word out loud determines how big your harvest will be. As Brother Copeland says, “Water [your seed] every day with praise. Water it with the spiritual water of The WORD. That WORD contains life, and those seed promises can’t grow without it.”
Keep watering your seed, and don’t let up. Keep praising Him no matter what it looks like or how it feels. Your seed is in good soil and will produce an abundant harvest if you don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).
Begin to speak your promises out loud like Pastor George Pearsons does, saying, “Praise God, my seed always produces a bumper crop. Thank You, Lord—the hundredfold return is working for me all the time.”
3. Call In Your Harvest
“My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.” –Proverbs 8:19-21 (ESV)
God is passionate about your increase. He is determined to see you reap your harvest and walk in more than enough, which is why He left precise instructions in His Word on how to reap abundant harvests (Psalm 107: 35-38).
Throughout the Bible, we read about God’s people and angels gathering harvests by using sickles. In farming, sickles are extremely sharp and powerful instruments used to cut down crops and thick stalks with little effort. In the spirit realm, our sickle is the Word of God, and like the people and angels we read about in Scripture, we are to wield it with skill. The Word is a razor-sharp, powerful and mighty weapon we tend to only use for battle, but it is also highly effective for reaping our harvests quickly and bringing in bountiful supernatural harvests (Mark 4:29; Hebrews 4:12; Revelations 4:14-18).
4. Set Your Expectations
“‘What a huge harvest!’ he said to his disciples. ‘How few workers!’” –Matthew 9:37 (MSG)
Have you ever heard the term “go big or go home”? It originated as a sales slogan for a motorcycle parts company in the 1990s. Since then, we’ve used if for everything from football games to hair styles, haven’t we? Well, let’s start using it regarding our supernatural harvests and increase, too. Whether anyone in your family or friend group agrees with you or not, you can expect big so you can reap big (Mark 11:24).
Recently during a tithing message at EMIC, Pastor Ara Veney challenged us to increase our supernatural expectancy. Most of us have been harvesting from small gardens, spiritually speaking, where we are being supplied with what we need on a daily basis. Yet God wants us to have a large-farm mentality, where we sow and reap extremely large harvests so we’re not only meeting our own needs, but also easily meeting the needs of others (Matthew 5:42; Luke 3:10-11).
The key is to set our expectations in alignment with God’s expectations, and we do that by finding what God wants us to have in His Word:
• God wants us to plant generously, so we reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
• He says that whatever we give will return to us increased and overflowing (Luke 6:38).
• According to God, we can reap abundantly during any economy and in any situation (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
• We can expect the hundredfold return on what we plant (Genesis 26:12).
As we see in these scriptures, there’s no doubt that God wants us to have abundant and increasing harvests. Yet we must set our expectations according to what the Word of God says we should have, not by what our bank account balance is. Just like we remain focused on God to meet our daily needs, we can remain focused on God for increasing our harvests as well.
5. Take Corresponding Action
“Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.” –Joel 3:13 (ESV)
It’s tempting to sit back and wait for God to bring our harvest in for us, but that’s not what the Word of God instructs us to do. Just as the scripture above describes, when our harvest is ripe, we need to go and get it. As Kenneth Copeland says, “Jesus compared the kingdom of God with the planting of seed and reaping the harvest. Why, then, aren’t all of us producing bumper crops every season? Because we are sitting around waiting for God to do all the work.”
Since our harvest won’t just jump into our hands, we need to take action in order to reap that harvest. Until then, we’re leaving fields of blessings lying around. That’s why it’s important to take corresponding action once we have faithfully sown seed, watered, prepared our sickles, and set our expectations (James 2:14-17).
If you have been a good giver and a good tither, now is the time to become a good reaper by taking action. It’s time to take your spiritual sickle—the Word of God—and retrieve your harvest just like a farmer does (Proverbs 10:5, 6:6-8).
Take your words of faith, along with the Word of God, and call it in. Command your angels to go and get the crop you’ve sown seed for. Use the Word of God to declare and command your harvest to come to you. Spiritual crops don’t expire, so even if you sowed into good soil 20 years ago, for example, you can still reap that harvest right now.
As we celebrate our harvests this Thanksgiving Day, let’s be thankful for God’s provision and the important role prayer played in the Pilgrims’ lives and in this country’s formation. Just like the Pilgrims, let’s focus on God and not give up on our own bountiful harvests. Our harvests are coming. As you continue to activate these 5 Ways To Reap an Abundant Harvest this Thanksgiving, trust that the Lord will keep His Word; and start rejoicing now. Happy Thanksgiving!
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