The king of Egypt had a dream in which seven fat cows came out of the river followed by seven starving cows that ate the fat cows but remained thin. Joseph interpreted the dream for the king as seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought that would consume all the seven years of plenty and still need more. The impact of the dream and its interpretation was so great that the king set Joseph in place to apply and implement the strategy the dream demanded.
This dream demanded preparation for seven years of drought.
What I see is the reverse. That the seven years of drought is past, seed lies dormant in the dried soil, the land having wept itself dry but preserving the seed for seasons of rain. I see seven years of drought followed by seven years of plenty. The years 2014 through 2020 are the seven years of harvest!
Understanding Harvest as Purpose
As I was writing the book on Fathering, my publisher and I had previously thought to name it “Fathering Harvest,” but the name required someone to read the whole book to understand the title. We named it Fathering: Transforming Nations and Individuals instead. In the book, I shared the revelation that fathering comes when God knows a great harvest of coming because He wishes that harvest increase to be properly invested. Fathering prepares inheritors. Fathering is a covenantal relationship. Covenants are the backdrop of all relationships that God designs to carry and carry out purpose.
We have come to think of “harvest” as the winning of souls, the return on giving, or simply the principle of sowing and reaping as it applies to covenant. Nothing particularly wrong with any one of these emphases, but the concept of harvest should be applied to purpose more than any other consideration. God’s harvest is greater than what we’ve sown; God’s harvest is purpose.
Consider that God has seeds of purpose in the ground of history that have been reserved and preserved for a future, faithful generation, unfulfilled prophetic promises as real and living as the day they were spoken. Consider the words of Jesus to His kingdom leaders: “I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.” There was prophetic promise in the ground, a planting of purpose awaiting their generation. The harvest was more than what they had plowed or planted because they hadn’t even work the particular field they were sent to harvest.
Purpose cannot be destroyed. Nothing man can do, hell can do, time can do destroys God’s purpose. There is power in the Cross to redeem and restore every purpose God has created!
Stolen Harvest Restored
Consider every instance in which the harvest of purpose has been stolen. Consider how the enemy stole harvest of purpose in your marriage: God intended for marriage to provide you and your spouse with something that was stolen by your own misdeeds, the misdeeds of others, or the work of hell against you. Consider the happy days, shared experiences, nights of rest, stress-free years, fulfilling companionship, understanding and acceptance, stability and security, finances and inheritance that should have been yours but were stolen.
Are they forfeited? Do we need to await the last, great day? No. Your marriage isn’t for the last, great day. Your marriage is for now. The next seven years of harvest are for your marriage to be everything God designed it to be, and for you to receive a return and restoration on what God planted for marriage harvest when He created man and brought male and female back together! We expect our marriage to be everything it would be for this season if it weren’t for what we did, others did, and hell did.
Now, consider your physical body. You aren’t going to get a glorified body, but you can expect the restoration of what God intended for His temple had you not failed to properly maintain it, had not hell sent sickness, disease, and had not others wounded it or damaged it in some way. We get a glorified body in resurrection. We wait for that, but we should expect a harvest of restoration, where our body would have been without what we did, others did, and hell has done.
Consider your ministry position within the Body of Christ, the work of ministry for which you should be prepared and properly positioned to produce. Consider that where you would be had the fullness of this preparation and positing occurred is something God purposed when He created you. The full measure of stature of Christ is promised and purposed, but the lack of apostolic and prophetic foundations, the dysfunction of kingdom leadership, the weakness and distraction of our substitutes has left the Body much less than what She should be at this time of history. God intends to remedy that, and within the Body restored to glorious condition is your place, preserved and reserved for fullness!