John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.
The sun was just coming up over Lake Ponchartrain as we were driving across the Bonnet Carre Spillway. It had been a long night of driving, we were on our last leg driving in from California. I had been sharing the driving with a missionary friend, Glen Swarthout, we were driving to my home town after being away for several years. I was sitting in the front seat while Glen was taking the last leg and decided I would read my Bible. It just so happened that one of my passages for that day was John 4. Today’s verse jumped out of the page right into my face. I was experiencing one of the most profound God encounters I have ever had. It wasn’t a vision or even a trance like state; it was more of a sudden awareness of God’s presence and a clear sense of calling and destiny. I was beginning to taste that my life work would be connected to the New Orleans area. As I continued to read the verses, they were like the word of the Lord just for me.
John 4:36-38 “Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor”.
I sensed that this is where the Lord had called me to labor. I also saw that others had gone before me and prepared the ground. I knew in my heart that an incredible harvest was ready to be reaped.
I am writing this devotion almost forty years later. A lot has happened in those forty years. What started out as a street ministry ended up as a thriving church. Victory Fellowship has seen the Lord do remarkable things. We have seen thousands of people converted, multiple churches started regionally, missionaries sent to the nations, and a variety of incredible ministries at our home base. Feed the Multitudes (a giant free food festival) has been taking place since 1990, Beyond the Grave (a multi-media production) has been going on since 1999 with over 70,000 decisions for Christ, and recently we have begun two restoration centers, Mary’s Song for the ladies and 180 for the men.
Who could have imagined these things on that morning in a borrowed car driving in to New Orleans. But here is the strangest thing, my heart tells me that there is more, way more. I have a strange feeling that what we have seen is just a teaser, that the main harvest is yet to come. So what should we do? Look on the fields, they are white and ready for harvest. What do we need? We need harvesters that have a love for lost souls.