Many times in our lives the Lord will speak to us about making a sacrifice. To some people this is an easy thing to do; to others it is one of the hardest decisions that they have ever had to make. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of not only being in the right place at the right time, but the importance of what you do in the right place at the right time.
The Law Of Sowing And Reaping
Genesis 8:22 (KJV)
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
(NLT) As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest…
(ERV) As long as the earth continues, there will always be a time for planting and a time for harvest…
You can be certain that as long as you are on this earth the law of sowing and reaping will always exist. This is a promise to us by God in Genesis 8. The ERV translation says, “there will always be a time for planting and a time for harvest…” The understanding that we must have is that there will never be a time of harvesting without there first being a time of planting. With that understanding, we should never miss a time for planting. In your life, there are many opportunities to plant, however, God will ask you during specific appointed times to plant a sacrificial seed. It’s during this time that you want to make sure and get your seed in the ground.
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
You cannot reap without first sowing a seed. You can also be confident that if you have sown a seed, God promises you in His Word that you will reap a harvest. God will never ask something of you, without giving something back in return.
2 Corinthians 9:6, 10 (KJV)
6 …He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
God will multiply your seed sown. The important word in that scripture is sown. He does not multiply the seed of intention.
Obedience Brings Generational Rewards
1 Kings 17:1-24 (NLT)
1 Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
2 Then the LORD said to Elijah,
3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River.
4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
5 So Elijah did as the LORD told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan.
6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook.
7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
So we see here that Elijah’s prophesy came true. There was such a drought that even the waters dried up.
8 Then the LORD said to Elijah,
9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
Notice that the Lord had already dealt with the widow to feed the prophet. Elijah went knowing that there would be a widow woman that he was to talk to.
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?”
11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
Now, we know that God had already spoken to her about feeding the prophet. God knew her condition when He spoke to her. Notice how she willingly went, without hesitation, to get Elijah water. But the moment that Elijah asked for food, she hesitated. She even acknowledged that Elijah was a man of God. That means that she knew that this was the man that God had spoken to her about already. You will always face the moment of sacrifice when God has spoken to you to sacrifice something. The appointed time will come. What you do in that moment will determine whether or not you receive what it is that God is trying to get to you. It was very easy and comfortable for her to go and get Elijah water, but for her to give out of what was most precious and valuable to her, that became a great challenge.
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son.
Most people never make it to the altar of sacrifice because of fear. Fear will always choke the life of your harvest by paralyzing your seed.
14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”
God promised her that the very thing that she was about to sacrifice would be the very thing that He would multiply in her life (2 Corinthians 9:10). What this widow did not know was that the prophet Elijah was the one whom God used to cause the drought, and he was the one whom God was going to use to release the rain and stop the drought. God was using Elijah to bless her in the drought and after the drought.
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.
Your obedience to God when He asks you to sacrifice something will not only affect you, but those connected to you as well. In this situation, it affected her family. Not only will your family be affected by your sacrifice, they will also be affected by your lack of sacrifice. Imagine what would have happened if she had not obeyed? Remember, she was prompted by God before she was ever prompted by the man of God. Many people miss out on God’s blessings because they look at man and judge whether or not the man is worthy of the sacrifice or they become suspicious of what man will do with their sacrifice. If God tells you to do something, you should never consider any other source but God.
16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.
17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.
18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed.
20 Then Elijah cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, please let this child’s life return to him.”
22 The LORD heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!
23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.”
Your obedience to God’s promptings, will reach into areas of your life that you do not see. God always sees the big picture. Her sacrifice reached into the future and saved the life of something precious to her, her son. What has God asked you to sacrifice lately?
Whatever it may be, understand that God sees a much bigger picture than you do.
The Chinese Bamboo Tree
The story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree is one of the most fascinating and inspirational stories that I have heard. After planting the seed of a Chinese Bamboo Tree, during the first year the seed is fertilized and watered. After one whole year of tending to the seed, nothing happens. This process is repeated for another whole year. And another. And a fourth year, and still nothing happens. Then, in the fifth year, it shoots up to the sky. In six weeks the bamboo tree grows 90ft. If the farmer would have stopped watering the seed at anytime during those five years, it would have died. What was happening during those five years? An enormous root system was being developed to support the bamboo’s sudden growth. Growth takes patience and perseverance. Every drop of water makes a difference. Every step you take makes and impact. You may not see the change right away, but growth is happening. Never underestimate the power of a seed. God will use your seeds of sacrifice to produce amazing things in your life. After sowing a seed, never lose heart or give up. God is tied to His Word. He will always come through. Sometimes He is simply building your root system for a rapid growth. Just like the Chinese Bamboo Tree, God can do more in 6 weeks of your life than what has happened in the past 5 years if you’ll keep watering.
The Appointed Time
Just like a plane has an appointed time for departure and arrival, so does your seed. If you choose not to show up at the time that is appointed for you, you can be certain that you will miss your flight and not arrive at your destination. Failure to show up at the appointed time with your seed will result in you missing the appointed time for harvest.