Workers or Lovers?
I believe there is a significant truth from the book of Ruth that can really help us to stay in proper focus as we enter into the coming worldwide harvest. The story of Ruth has many multifaceted levels of truth and revelation, but I’d like to challenge you with perhaps a new perspective.
As many of you already know, Ruth is considered to be a type of the Church, and by extension, the individuals of the Church. Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi, can be a type of the Holy Spirit. Boaz, of course represents the Lord, and therefore His servants represent the angels. (Matthew 13:39 tells us the harvest is the end of the age and the angels are the reapers.) The harvest field is the nations and can also speak of our personal sphere of Kingdom activity.
Entering the Holy Spirit-led Life
Many of us have been like Ruth, in that we had no “husband” and therefore no hope of fruitfulness. We came to the Lord and realized that only as we committed to following the Holy Spirit’s initiatives would we get to a place of spiritual intimacy and fruitfulness. So we made a commitment to make room for the Holy Spirit and follow Him just as Ruth told Naomi “Wherever you go, I will go and wherever you lodge, I will lodge?”. For most of us, the Holy Spirit led us to a land we were not familiar with, much as Ruth was led to a foreign land.
Working for the Lord
As the Holy Spirit fills us and leads our life, we find this increased desire to be productive in the harvest fields of our Lord. Ruth made it to Boaz’s fields as she was led there by Naomi. She worked all day picking up the sheaves that were left behind by the servants of Boaz. Boaz loved her so much that he even commanded the servants to purposefully let bundles of barley drop so that she could be more productive in her task. That day, with the help of the servants, Ruth produces a sum total of one ephah of barley. Ruth was obviously excited to show Naomi all the blessings of the day, possibly not even realizing the extra “help” she had received! Boaz also invited her to stay close to his servants in the field until the harvest was over.
In much the same way, as the Holy Spirit directs us into our arena of the harvest, the Lord of the Harvest has instructed His servants the angels to assist us in our labor. Because of Ruth’s focus on her own need, evidently she wasn’t quite aware of the best news- she had gained the affection of the owner of the field himself!
Winning the Lord of the Harvest
Naomi rejoices with Ruth, that she has found a place in Boaz’s field, but then springs a new thought on her. Not only are Boaz’s fields available, but so is Boaz! The theme of the third chapter of Ruth quickly changes from working in Boaz’s field to romance on the threshing floor. As exciting as finding bundles of harvest may have been it does not compare with the experience of “laying at Boaz’s feet”. Truly we are in a similar season- the Holy Spirit has been waking us up to the fact that Jesus Himself is the real reward to be sought!
The often-overlooked ending of this encounter between Boaz and Ruth is that he gives her six ephahs of harvest. He still wants her involved with the harvest until it is over. What a remarkable difference though, to receive six ephahs for lying at his feet as opposed to one ephah for working and sweating in the field all day!
HE’S LOOKING FOR LOVERS NOT WORKERS
I believe this is a lesson that most of the Body of Christ has not yet received. Though the Lord of the Harvest will love you and bless you if you choose to be a “worker” ? He really wants much more. He’s looking for love from His church and not productivity. In Matthew 9:38, Jesus makes it clear that we are to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send His laborers into the harvest. I believe there is a reason that He didn’t say “Please, everyone, go labor in the harvest!” His laborers are the angels and they carry the burden of the “heavy lifting” of the harvest. That might offend some, but as in Ruth we are just “gleaning” whatever the Lord orders to be left for us. We are needed in the harvest, but the primary need is for us to request assistance from the angels for the harvest. I believe the Lord wants us “in the fields” until the harvest is over, but we are primarily there to request angels. We are there to participate in the harvest, but most importantly He wants US during the harvest. We are playing a part in the best “movie” ever made, and though it has adventure and a clear mission, its central theme is nothing less than a Divine romance! “For God so LOVED…”
If it seems insulting to think of all your work and toil for God as simply “gleaning leftovers”, remember your harvest increases to “six ephahs” when you make loving Him your priority, even above your practical strategies for a better harvest. If the field is the nations, then we must note the key to greatly affecting nations. The key is intimacy and passion for Jesus. No strategy can give you that and we certainly cannot give someone else what we do not personally have for ourselves. What He wants to give us is so personal that only you, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can learn to come to His feet. “Strategically” targeting nations is not what gives us ‘the nations’. It is search for greater and greater intimacy with the Lord, while remaining in the harvest field, that yields the fruit He has set aside for you. Psalm2: 8 says, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession.” He really is into us getting the nations ? but it is not by targeting the nations- but by targeting HIM! If we can get “one ephah” by targeting the nations we will get a 600% increase if we prefer HIM.
Paul’s greatest expressed desire was to “gain Christ”. Those whose primary passion is “the lost” will always produce good fruit. However, those whose primary goal is to “gain Christ”, will ultimately be the greatest “reapers”. The wages for “lovers” are six times the wages for “workers”- and the harvest is only secondary in importance to the primary love story. We are about to enter a season when the Lord is going to allow us to “glean” more than we have ever gleaned before. There will be an incredible harvest that will be very exciting. However, we must always remember the primary story will not be “the harvest”, but rather the Lamb and His Bride.
I am enclosing this word on a prophetic email list even though it may appear to be a “teaching”. It actually came to me as revelation. Most importantly, I believe that this is a truth all of us in the various prophetic camps cannot afford to lose sight of. As a prophetic people we may have a goal of greater prophetic accuracy, and truly that is a good goal. However, no other goal compares to the goal of gaining Christ. We may even lose our own prophetic credibility with a word that “bombs”- but we never have to lose anything significant if we make gaining Him our greatest treasure. Even the “six ephahs” are not the goal. He alone is the goal. May the Lord release unprecedented passion for Jesus in your hearts!