Matthew 9:35 – Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
When I read this verse, I think about the essential oils I am using, how much they have helped me, and how great it would be if I could take these oils and pray with people who are sick. I think how awesome it would be if I could enlarge my territory and teach about essential oils in churches and many cities. Then I think I’m being presumptuous. Why would God use me for anything big? I’m nobody. That sounds like a big deal. Am I being selfish? What are my motives?
Then I stop and realize that the evil one would certainly not want me to think I can do anything big for God. But we are to imitate Jesus, and if Jesus did these things, then I should do them. And, Jesus said that even greater things than He did, we, His children, would do. (John 14:12) I am His child, so why should I not expect that God has a job for me to teach and preach and pray for healing. It’s not like there are too many people already doing Jesus’ work and there is no room for more workers. Later in this same passage He says, “The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
The amplified version of verse 38 reads, “So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” “Forcing out” makes it sound like many laborers are unwilling. So, what is God able to do with a willing heart? If I’m willing, why should it not be me? God said he would use the weak. I’m certainly qualified there.
Another thing I have noticed about this verse recently is that it doesn’t say send out laborers into THE harvest. It says HIS harvest. God is the Lord of the Harvest. He is responsible for the growth. His laborers plant seeds, water seeds, and when the “plant” is mature, His laborers reap. But the harvest belongs to Him.
This verse resonates with in me every time I read it.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” Luke 4:18
So, if I am to imitate Jesus, if I am willing to go and be used to do great things for Him, how do I begin? How will God lead, and how will I know? If I’m honest, I have the answers for this.
- Read the word.
- Look/be aware of opportunities. Lots of people want to be prayed for. Many times someone said to me, “You’re a prayer warrior/religious person. Can you pray for me?” I need to follow up on those opportunities.
- Be available when opportunities present themselves. If someone asks to go pray, pray. If someone asks you to go, go.
- Study Jesus’ life. He is the Perfect Example. Imitate Him.
- Apply what I know already. It’s not about studying (only) and learning more about Jesus. It’s about doing what I already know to do.
- Demonstrate compassion.
- Be a listener.
- Speak the Word into my life. Agree with God’s plan by speaking the Word. Be positive not negative.
- Pray FOR people even when you cannot physically be there to pray WITH them.
These are all things God has spoken into my heart at one time or another. I know I could go back through my journal and find specific times God has spoken along these lines. As I continue to grow in Him and follow Him, I will see the opportunities more clearly. I expect to see them every day. Then I can do as James 1:22 instructs: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Be a “doer.”
I’m expecting great things from God. What great things are you expecting?
Until next time,
C. K. Widmayer