“And he said, so is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come”
When a seed is sown in the earth, it doesn’t grow into a full plant the day, it is sown but it undergoes a process of growth. Watering and weeding the seed are important to ward off threats and attacks. So that the plant does not just survive but also thrive. The Word of God can only find a nesting place in the heart of an unbeliever when the word is released from the mouth of a believer. The creative power of God is released through His Word for effective change.
Three stages of growth in evangelism were mentioned in the scripture above:
- FULL CORN
THE BLADE STAGE:
The Blade stage represents the state of mind of an unbeliever is the stage where such individual is struggling with his/her former belief system / way of life. This stage is where an unbeliever behaves repulsive and uninterested in the Word that has been preached. The person who is being preached to is struggling and wants to fight back. This blade stage is an open stage where the individual is not susceptible to other thoughts and ideologies. This is a process where the individual lives in a world that he feels he has control over.
A lot of believers get discouraged in this stage because they claim they are being consistently ignored or refused. It is pertinent to note that those in the blade stage have heard what is alien to their way of life. There is a conflict happening as they do not have the full understanding yet on the need to make a decision for Christ. This is the stage we need to keep preaching the Word and praying for these souls. A lot of people in the blade stage think the atrocity they have committed or are presently committing have gone too deep and is beyond redemption. This is a mindset that must be reversed by continuous contact with the good news of the gospel.
The need to minister a message of reconciliation is therefore very crucial as continuous and persistent ministering of the Word will trigger the next stage which is the Ear stage.
THE EAR STAGE:
This is the stage where the blades of the plant converge and close up. This is the time the Word is being processed in the heart of a potential convert. They close up on the outside but in actual fact, the Holy Spirit is working on them on the inside. This is the period they must be prayed to yield to the Holy Spirit.
This stage is not the time to quit as many believers after ministering to a family member, friend, colleague etc, conclude they can’t be changed. The truth we however need to come to terms with is that we cannot take the place of the Holy Spirit to effect the needed change.
Believers on assignment have to be patient and labour consistently in prayers for the lost during this stage as this is Word processing stage. This is the watering stage so that the seed that is planted will germinate.
1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase”.
THE FULL CORN
The full corn is the birthing forth stage. After the Word has gained root in the heart of an individual, it will eventually be revealed. This is the time when an individual allows the fruit of salvation to fully manifest. At this stage, there is readiness of the spirit which will breed a YES! I AM READY TO BECOME BORN AGAIN. It is interesting to note that many individuals we pass by are either in the Blade, Ear or the Full corn stage. We as the sent ones cannot afford to make evangelism assessment based because an individual that was not ready five years ago because he was in the blade stage might be ready this year because the fruit has developed and he is ready to be harvested.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted”.
The reality of life is that the young will eventually grow; so also the seed will eventually germinate. We however need to understand that seasons of harvest differ in the life of individuals. Some seeds though planted at the same time may not necessarily be harvested together. We know that the lost will eventually be saved so we need to pray, be sensitive and prepared to put in our sickle to bring in the harvest.
Soul winning is our everyday assignment, let us keep at it.
For further Study
Personal declaration for the day
I will not give up on reaching out to people with the love of God.
Questions for you to reflect on
Is soul winning a lifestyle or is it a seasonal event ?