Part 3 -- Reaping the Harvest
by Peter J. Wade
There will be no receiving unless there has first been a giving, but remember this, if there has been a giving then there ought to be a receiving. The reason the farmer sows the seed in the ground and spends hours plowing and watering in cultivation is because he is expecting a harvest. While it is true that there is no receiving without giving, because if you give to God nothing, nothing multiplied by nothing still equals nothing, nevertheless The Word is very clear in uniting these two acts. It is the principle of giving and receiving; not just the Biblical way to give, but the way to give and receive what you need.
Now when we come to the time of harvest, one great promise of God in Philippians 4:19 will throw a considerable amount of light on the subject. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." As far as our English language is concerned, "shall" is the word of absoluteness, so "my God shall absolutely supply all your need". The supply of our need is wrapped up in what Christ Jesus, the victorious One, did for us. This is a promise in the Word of God, and it is a promise that is true regardless of whether the prices are low or high, it is a promise that is true regardless of whether there is a credit squeeze or inflation is running rampant, it is a promise that is true absolutely regardless of outward circumstances.
It is God that supplies my need. God is the source of my supply, not the economy, not my employer, not the banker -- it is God who promises to supply. You must keep in mind that it is God's promise, even though there are laws in every Western democracy that if a man works any period of time he has to be paid. If he is not paid, then the employer will be taken to court and have the money extracted from him, for this is the law of the land. This certainly gives the man who is working for a reward some confidence, but you are a believer and it is God who made the promise not the government. It is God that you have to keep in mind as the One who supplies all your need. God shall absolutely supply all, all without exception, your need. What do you need? God will supply it, because God has a supply to satisfy your need and it does not matter what that need is.
There is one point here that had been a real blessing to me and I want to share it with you. The word "supply" as translated in the King James Version, seems to contradict other parts of The Word. Ephesians 1:3 is a clear statement: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blesses us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Then are you blessed? Yes! Colossians 2:10 states that "you are complete in him", and yet when I get to Philippians 4:19 it declares that "God shall supply all your need". There is an apparent contradiction here. The other verses I have quoted seem to indicate that we have already within us the potential for everything that we need, yet here it seems to indicate that God is going to add something else whenever we need it. The answer is found in the study of the word "supply" in Philippians 4:19. It is the Greek word pleroo, which is usually translated "to be filled" or sometimes "fulfilled", and means to be filled to capacity.
Now it is interesting that this is the same word as used in Colossians 2:10 where it is translated "complete". Since I am complete in Him, I have everything I need. The supply of all my need comes from the completeness that I have in Him. God does not need to give me any extra because He has already given me everything that I will ever need for any circumstance that I will ever run across. I am blessed in Him, I am complete in Him. Isn't that great? "My God shall absolutely supply [out of your completeness in Him] all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
One further truth needs to be understood from this verse, and that is to note that God's supply is "according to" His riches. These two words indicate the standard by which we estimate His grace. God is not poor and He does not want us to be poor; God is not poverty stricken, and He does not want us to be poverty stricken. God is on top of the world, and He wants us to be on top of the world. How rich is God? Then that is the standard of the supply of your need. It is not "out of" His riches but "according to", on the same basis as His riches. Philippians 4:19, therefore, is the promise of the harvest: "My God shall absolutely supply all your need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." The enjoyment of that supply is conditional by only one thing -- your believing. Hebrews 11:6 tells us clearly and distinctly that "without believing it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he rewards them that diligently seek Him." God is the God of the harvest, God is the God who supplies your every need. He will reward those who believe, for, "without believing it is impossible to please him".
There is a wonderful example of believing for the harvest in Luke 5:1-11. Notice how the principles I have already shared work in this particular record. "And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret [the Sea of Galilee], And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's [Peter], and asked him to thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, 'Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.' And Simon answering said unto him, 'Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.'"
That is a great statement of believing in spite of outward circumstances. Peter had told Jesus that he and his partners had toiled all night and taken nothing. Peter was a fisherman; he knew the Sea of Galilee, he knew the right time to fish, the right places to fish. And yet he took notice of a man who was a carpenter not a fisherman, telling him that he would take in a big catch of fish. Regardless of outward circumstances, regardless of his whole backlog of sense-knowledge information about the situation, Peter said, "Nevertheless at your word I will let down the net." Always keep in mind that the operation of the principle of giving and receiving is the fulfilling of the promise of God's Word. It is God's principle based upon God's Word and it is applicable for you today!
Let me conclude this record. Verse 6: "And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, 'Fear not: from henceforth you shalt catch men.' And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."
Peter learnt from this incident that regardless of sense-knowledge or outward circumstances, your must walk on The Word. Now you might ask, "What was Peter's seed in this case?" I believe Peter's seed, his giving on this occasion, was the giving of his boat to Jesus so that he could use it to reach the crowd with the good news. It was a very small thing for Peter to give, just the loan of his boat for a short period of time, but he did it and because of this act he reaped the harvest. And what a harvest! Two boat-loads of fish and both of them close to sinking. The harvest will come: there has to be a giving, a cultivating, a reaping. The harvest will come, and it will come regardless of the economy or outward circumstances.
You have read the book. You have been stimulated. You have been lifted. You have discovered a financial expectation and an economic stability that you never knew existed. Now what are you going to do with this knowledge?
Believing requires action. The truth that covers your situation is of no value unless you act upon the greatness of God's Word. Plan a regular method of giving and receiving for your own abundance. Re-read these truths frequently so that you drill them into your mind.
Do not let this blessing die on your hands. Why not make your first act of giving the sharing of this book with your family and friends? Start a stream of blessing in your church and among your friends by giving out copies of this book. Watch the reactions. You will be filled with joy at having a part in this ministry of spreading the positive and practical Word of God.