December 10, 2023

How to Protect your Harvest

How to Protect your Harvest

TRINITY HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

 

SUNDAY SERMON

10th December, 2022

Topic:                         How to Protect your Harvest

Preacher:                   Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi

Text:                           Judges 6:1 – 6

 

MESSAGE

Say, ‘Father, give me light this morning in the name of Jesus. Holy Spirit, breathe on me in Jesus Name.’ Amen.

I welcome you to church today which is the first Sunday after Unusual Encounter. This Sunday has become a good and specific day in the program of THF – the first Sunday after Unusual Encounter.

No doubt about it that we are entering into a season of great harvest, a season of unprecedented harvest, but you must know how to protect your harvest and keep the devourers, Midianites, Amalekites and the people of the East from your harvest. You have laboured in prayers and fasting, now you are entering into the time to begin to harvest that which you have prayed for but you must be skilled not only in planting but in protecting your harvest. Lions are known to be very powerful wild animals but they are careless with their little ones. It is not enough to get pregnant and have children, it is also important to think about how to nurture them. You need to know how to play your responsibility in the upbringing of these children. It is not enough to go the farm, clear the field, make ridges, plant, weed and watch it grow to produce bumper, it is also important to know how to protect your harvest. So, this morning, I want you to see yourself as one who have planted and sown in tears (Psalm 126:5); some of you have sacrificed, even before the day, you have been seeking the face of the Lord, coming here to pray. Also, through December 1 to 7, you have been coming for early morning sacrifice, leaving your bed and coming to the meeting to pray to seek the face of the Lord. Those were the times of sowing – sacrifice, and God loves the people who sacrifice but now comes the season of harvest, you must ensure you take, eat and enjoy your harvest.

Joel 2:25 talks about restoring the years of the locusts and the different types of locusts: swarming, crawling, consuming and chewing locusts. This talks about the devastation by the enemy, the great havoc that the enemy brought upon the harvest. In verse 26 when God restored the harvest, the Bible says, ‘You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.’ You will never be put to shame, Amen!

You must learn how to prevent these destructive agents from attacking your harvest. The Bible says the children of Israel would have laboured and when it was time for them to harvest, the Midianites would come in their numbers, with their livestock, and finish off their harvest. That is how locusts come also. Locusts – swarming, chewing, consuming, crawling – they come and eat everything off but you must know how to prevent them and protect your harvest. You must know how to ensure that your harvest is kept and you can lay hold and enjoy your harvest and praise the name of the Lord who has dealt wondrously with you. It is God’s desire that you lay hold of what you have planted; it’s God’s desire that you eat the sweat of your labour, enjoy the fruit of your labour and are satisfied after your labour, that is why it says rest is sweet after labour. It is not God’s desire that you build and another man dwell in it. God’s desire is for you to plant and eat from it, to build and dwell in it.

What to do to Ensure that you Lay Hold of your Harvest

  1. You must use the Weapons of Praise, Thanksgiving and Worship: Praise itself is a weapon. Some people can never praise God without the choir leading; they don’t have words to say to God. Singing is a way of praising God but praising God is not necessarily singing all the time. You should have vocabularies to describe your Maker and express your love to Him. Many times, when praising God, except the choir is leading, most people don’t even have words to express themselves to God. Sometimes, I even see people who lead praise and they also lack words to praise God. When it is time to praise God, they only look down and not say anything.

The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 20:22, ‘Now when they began to sing and to praise…’ they sang and praise the Lord – singing and praising, two different things. Singing is a way of praising God but you can also praise the Lord without singing. Praise is a weapon! The Bible says that when Jehoshaphat had led the people to pray and the people of Judah consulted the prophet who told them that the Lord has taken charge of their battle, nobody told Jehoshaphat what to do but he decided to take that decision – the decision of praising God – by himself. Three nations gathered against them: the nations of Ammon, Mount Seir and Moab, but the Bible says, as they began to praise God and sing, the Lord took over the enemy that wanted to eat their harvest. Earlier on they prayed, it was time for them to harvest, and the enemy that wanted to take their harvest was taken on by God. This is why the Scripture says in Philippians 4:6 – ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.’ Sandwiched your prayer with thanksgiving. Spend time to praise God. That is why Psalms 67:5 – 6 say, ‘Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us.’ Praise the Lord and your harvest will be protected.

  1. Maintain your Position: 2 Chronicles 20:17 says, ‘Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…tomorrow, go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’ That is the word of the prophet to Jehoshaphat and Judah. Why a lot of people lose their harvest is because they have no position. What do I mean? Those people are here, there and everywhere; they have no position. They have different prophets, different pastors and there is no shepherd over their heads. They are sheep with different shepherds. No position. No place. No centre of worship. They are here, there and everywhere. They are gallivanting.

The prophet told them, ‘Take your position, stand still,’ that is, ‘wait a bit and stay there, that’s where your blessings would come, right where you are.’ I have heard about people who were looking for life partners and people tell them if they want to get a husband, they need to leave Ilorin and go to Lagos because there are no good young men in Ilorin. Some have even told them to leave THF because there are no young people who will marry them in THF? They tell them to go to ‘that’ church where there are a lot of young people that will marry them. I know of a sister that was pressurized to leave this church for a bigger church but till today, no man has seen her. Stay where you are!

I remember the case of one of our daughters in the Lord who has relocated to the US now. She was tall and of age but she kept on following. Over the years, she never got discouraged. When THF started, she was with us as an usher. She kept on believing even though she was of age but one day, a man working in an oil company visited his parents in Ilorin and worshipped here. As he entered the church, the usher who welcomed him was this sister and immediately, the Lord told him, ‘This is your wife,’ but he didn’t talk nor say anything that day. He went to pray for months to confirm what the Lord has said to him. The lady still maintained her position and her blessings located her.

Stop running helter-skelter, believe the Lord your God and you will be established. Maintain your position. Have a shepherd over your head of whom you can say, ‘This is my shepherd.’ Don’t be like a woman with different husbands. Remember the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias which was brought up during Unusual Encounter by one of the ministers also. The Bible says in Luke 1 that both Elizabeth and Zacharias were stricken in age, very old. Zacharias was a priest who had been waiting on the Lord for the fruit of the womb; he kept on praying and in verse 13, the Bible says, ‘But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard…”’ meaning that he has been praying. Even though he was old, he never gave up believing God for a child.

In verses 8 – 9, the Scripture says, ‘So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.’ What the scripture is saying is that by lot, they sought the face of the Lord to know who would be at a point at a certain time, just like you come every Sunday and hear about those who will be working at the children church the next Sunday. It was the lot of Zacharias to burn incense in the temple on this day; if Zacharias had gone out and was not there that day, if he was looking for miracle all around, he would have looked for miracle where there was no miracle. The place where his miracle would come, he would have missed it. In verses 10 – 11, ‘And the multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.’ When he was busy, doing what he ought to do; when he was at the place where he ought to be, God sent his parcel, the harvest, what he had been praying and fasting for, God sent it. Can you imagine if he was not in church on that day? Maintain your position.

  1. Reconsider your Association: A man can take a wrong decision as a result of influence. Influence is not somebody telling you do something but that over time, as you relate with that person, you would likely want to act like that person. There are people who take wrong decisions just before eating their harvest. There are wives who have been laboring on their husband and just about the time to eat their harvest, because of what they have been passing through, a friend advised them wrongly not knowing that God was about to turn the man around, and the woman moved out of the house. I pray for somebody here, another man will not eat your harvest. You will not labour for another person to eat. I pray for everybody, in the name of Jesus, another person will not occupy your position.

Be careful of your association. Who do you work with? Who are your friends? There are people called fire extinguishers; they kill faith and kill zeal. You tell them you want to go on 7 days of prayer and fasting but they shout and tell you to calm yourself down. They won’t encourage you to do that because you wouldn’t even see it in their lives. You tell them you want to give a certain amount to the Lord but they discourage you. Look for faith lifters, people who will lift up your souls and spirit, those are people you should work with. You need a lot of patience in the process of waiting for your harvest, so you need people who will stir you up and keep encouraging you.

Remember the story of Mary; the angel of the Lord came to her and told her she would bring forth a child. She told the angel she has known no man but let it be to her according to the Word of the Lord. Angel Gabriel then told her her cousin, Elizabeth, whom people called barren is already carrying a child. Testimonies have the ability to trigger another testimony. Her cousin was already six months pregnant. Even though she had believed the Angel, the testimony of Elizabeth stirred her up the more. She thought she must see Elizabeth for herself and in Luke 1:39 – 41, she went to Elizabeth in Judah. ‘And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb’ (v. 41). Likewise, there are people who when they speak, your God-given vision and prophecy inside of you would leap. Those voices, when they speak to you, the dreams God has given you would leap, yet, there are people, when you hear them, the dream would die. There are people who are killers. That prophecy that your story would change, when you hear these kind of people, that dream would die but there are people you hear, as you hear their voice, the dream leaps in you.

I am sure some of you understand what I am talking about; God has spoken to you about different issues but when you hear some people, you just begin to cry because your faith is shaken at that moment. Be careful! If you want your harvest to be better, be careful of whom you associate with. There are people who carry the mark of impossibility. They would never allow you to act in zeal; they will kill your zeal, be careful with those people. They will kill that harvest and ensure that vision God has given you dies. If you want to have a good harvest, listen to the right people and that which is inside of you will leap up. Elizabeth was six months pregnant, immediately she heard Mary’s voice, the baby within her concurred, and leaped. Do you know what it means when a baby is kicking? Women go worried when their baby doesn’t move for months but gets relaxed when the child starts to kick. You need the promises of God in you to leap up? Remember, iron sharpens iron.

Out of about 10 things, I have told you three: Make use of the weapon of praise; stay in your position, don’t leave your place and reconsider your association.

Prayer

  1. Father, there is nothing you cannot do, be magnified in my life and in my song.
  2. Father, help me to maintain my position. While I am waiting for you, help me to maintain my position.
  3. Father, separate me from every negative association. Separate me from faith killers and faith extinguishers.
  4. Pray that you won’t lose your harvest.

 

Blessings

I pray for everyone this morning, you will not lose your harvest. Your labours over the time through prayers, fasting and sacrifice will not be in vain. You will eat of the fruits of your labour, you will enjoy and be satisfied with it in the name of Jesus. Another man will not eat the fruits of your labour. On the day when your parcel will be delivered, you will not be missing. May the Lord separate you from every negative association and connect you with faith lifters. May the Lord bless you with fearsome blessings. Amen.

 

Call to Salvation

Jesus does not forsake His own. He preserves and helps them guide and protect their harvest. Jesus is calling you today also. He wants you to yield yourself to Him and say, ‘Jesus I surrender to you.’

Do you want to say, ‘Pastor, I want to give my life to Jesus?’ Put your left hand on your chest and say, ‘My Father, I have heard your Word, I give you my heart, I give you my life. I surrender to you, have your way. Jesus, you are the Lord, take over this life and rule it in Jesus Name. Thank you, Father.’

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