After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And [Jesus] said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (Luke 10:1-2, ESV)
I've been meditating on this text now for over two weeks. I deeply desire that God would grip my heart for the harvest that surrounds me. I long to be a faithful harvester and herald. And I am learning, as I pray earnestly, that part of the process is trusting that God will do this work. Further, that he is doing this work through me, though us, his people, the church.
We need faith.
We do not need to embrace novelties either of style or substance, abandoning the simple declaration of the truth as it is in Jesus, with love for God and men, seeking to make it known wisely and tenaciously, longing for God to do what he has promised to do. We must be galvanised by faith. If we go forth weeping, we shall doubtless come again with rejoicing. We cannot say when or how much blessing will come, but do we believe that if we go forth in the strength of God, in dependence upon God, with the truth of God, in expectation that God will honour his word, and that it will not return to him void, that there will be people - sooner or later - that God will be pleased to draw to himself? The seed brings forth fruit (Mk 4.28); ours is the sowing; the increase belongs to God, and that is our hope and expectation. We must wrestle with God in prayer, not just for those to whom we go, but for our faith as we go.
If we are faithful in discharging our duty, God will glorify his name, and one of the ways he will do so is through the blessing of our labours to salvation. If it were not so, what would be the point? Why else do we go to men and women dead in their trespasses and sins? Why else do we keep reiterating God's saving mercies to our children? Why else do we go on preaching the same truths to people who so often seem unresponsive or even antagonistic?
It is because we serve a saving God.
(Jeremy Walker, Reformation21.org, paragraphing mine)