So farmers have a special place in my heart, and it was heart warming for me to learn years ago when I read 1 Corinthians 3:9 that the Lord is also a farmer. (Here's the post on that.). Last week I read chapter 11 in the Life-Study of James that links the Lord's coming to His being a farmer. First here's the verse that this chapter expounds:
Therefore be long-suffering, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer eagerly awaits the precious fruit of the earth, exercising long-suffering over it until it receives the early and late rain. You also be long-suffering, establish your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. James 5:7-8
I really like the dialogue that's in this excerpt:
We have seen that the Lord Jesus is actually the real farmer, the unique farmer. As we are awaiting His coming, He, as the real Farmer, is awaiting our maturity. We may pray, 'Lord, come back quickly.' However, He may say, 'My children, mature quicker. While you are waiting My coming back, I am awaiting your maturity. Do you know why it has been nearly 2,000 years and I have not yet come back? The reason is that my people are not yet matured. Only your maturity can hasten My coming back.'….It is a great help for us to realize that if we are serious about awaiting the Lord's coming back, we need to grow in life….The illustration of a farmer in 5:7 implies that the farmer is waiting for the crop growing in the field to ripen….According to Revelation 1, the Lord is also waiting for the harvest to be ripe. When the harvest is ripe, He will come back ( Lee. Witness. "Practical Virtues of Christian Perfection" Life-Study of James. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry. <http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?cid=0D >).In the past years I have heard a lot of sharing on Living Stream Ministry's website on the subject of spiritual maturity. Without this sharing I would not realize that the Lord's coming hinges on my growing and reaching maturity. My grandfather never harvested a crop that wasn't ripe, and so I get this parallel and it touches my heart. And like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth. I love this verse because it emphatically states that God is the only one that can cause us to grow. Only He can give us the experiences that we need that will make us grow all the way to maturity. And I love hearing that we can ask Him to do that!
I like to listen as much as I can to the Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee that goes along with the Life-Study that I am reading. Both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the commentary are enlightening.
What's the Way to Resist Temptation in James 1:21?