Need has immersed this nation in these past few months. We've seen need for relief from flooding in the South as well as from fires in the West. We've seen the need for healing and restoration in Las Vegas, and a need for a move of God in our country.
The noise of life is constant. The routines and rituals of everyday living often dull our attention to our own needs, let alone the needs of those around us.
Our God-given gifts of discernment and observation become so preoccupied with the accommodation of our daily schedules that we miss divine appointments and supernatural opportunities for God to intersect human need through us. God wants to reveal Himself through His disciples to lost and hurting people before His soon return.
I recently read this statement from Life Church and Pastor Craig Groeschel, "We are spiritual contributors, not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us. We are the church, and we exist for the world."
John 4:4, ESV, has recently captured my attention: "And he had to pass through Samaria." A thought came quickly to my mind: "You can never minister to a community until you observe the reality of the need there."
I have discovered that only as we observe the need are we able to minister the answer with conviction. There is no lasting answer to the needs of hurting people without Jesus Christ the only Savior moving through His people. We are Christ's hands and feet.
Consider putting the name of your community in place of Samaria in John 4:4. Read it aloud as you pray for your community. "Jesus needs go through ________."
Last week, I started this blog discussing the seven ways Jesus shows us to captivate our attention in John 4. The first is observation. All vision begins with observation. We must see the need to know the need. Until we observe the need, we will never minister to it. This is why vision precedes action in the kingdom.
In John 4, Jesus is teaching His disciples about harvest and vision.
He sees Samaria and the need of Samaritan woman before the harvest. When we get a vision for what God wants to do through us to meet the need, harvest will never be too far away. Vision precedes harvest. Likewise, harvest fuels vision. Need must encounter Jesus or else there will be no harvest. This is where vision is born.
If Jesus entered Samaria, we conclude that every city needs a visitation of Jesus. Samaria was one of the most despised places in the Jewish culture—yet it was also one of the neediest spiritually. The disciples missed the opportunity to impact the entire community as they seek food for Jesus. They had no vision. Thus, harvest was a distant concept in their minds.
Can you see how the mundane had clouded their horizon? Sure, we need to eat, take out the trash, do our homework and prepare for next Sunday's message and many other such chores, but do not forget that Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish his work" (John 4:34, MEV). Only heaven-birthed vision will sustain your soul. This is how the finished work of harvest becomes a reality.
Remember that the first stage in John 4 is observation. Jesus teaches His disciples where their attention should always be—vision leading to harvest and harvest fueling vision. Next week, we will continue with the second stage.
Pray this week for divine appointments from unexpected places. A great prayer to start with is with Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths."
I encourage you to look outside of your normal routine this week. See the need of those around you. And then allow God to meet those needs through you.
This is the first step towards harvest. Remember that one move of God could change an entire city.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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