Earlier this year, I was studying a particular verse in the Gospel of John and a word caught my attention. As I began to study and learn the meaning of this word, my understanding began to grow...
John 4:35, "Say not ye, 'There are yet four months and then cometh harvest?' behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
Jesus first admonishes us to lift up our vision. This is most necessary for us. What do you see with your eyes? I am not talking about your physical eyes, rather the eyes of your heart. Can you see what God is doing in your city? your nation? around the world?
As I speak with many Christians, I find many of them have small vision and some no vision at all. Their eyes are on themselves, focused on their particular needs and wants. Others have what we call 'tunnel vision', a very limited and narrow view of what is happening around them.
Jesus says, "Lift up your eyes..." See the bigger picture, enlarge your vision, stop focusing on ourselves and our own 'little world'.
Acts 1:8 tells us we shall be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth. In this verse, Jesus doesn't give us an option to choose, rather he informs us he wants His message taken to the far reaches of the earth.
I'm glad that someone in previous generations took God at His word and shared the gospel in other nations. Because, eventually, the Message came to me and I received Eternal Life. Wouldn't it be a crime if we all had to go to Jerusalem to hear the Good News?
We need to lift our eyes and see the world from God's perspective. Not our own.
I want you to notice the word "fields" from this passage of scripture. The word in the Greek language is "chora" and means, "territory or space AND inhabitants". Not just the territory, but the people who reside in the territory.
So when Jesus speaks of fields, he is not talking about the north 40 acres. Rather, he is speaking about what inhabits the fields, PEOPLE. This is the overall theme of the Bible, God and His relationship to His highest creation, man. God's highest interest is you.
The Greek word, "chora" comes from the root of a word that means "empty expanse".
So when we put this together, we get the idea the "fields" are people that are empty. Makes sense. We all know people who are trying to fill themselves, to find some purpose in life, find happiness or satisfaction. Unfortunately, they are filling themselves with things that in the end, doesn't bring what they are looking for. At best, its only temporal.
So when we apply the meaning of this word "fields" to the verse, we get a little different and deeper meaning.
"Lift up your eyes, for the fields [the inhabitants of the territories and regions beyond are an empty expanse] and are white to harvest.
Ripe for the picking is what we would say here in Oklahoma.
Please notice the word "fields" is plural. I grew up in a farming community. My mother's side of the family were mostly farmers. When I was a teenager, I would help my uncle plow the wheat fields that had just been harvested and prepare them for soybean planting.
He had many fields, some of them were quite large, others were small, nestled between groves of trees. The point is this, we have a tendacy to think "our" field is the only field the Master has.
The Lord has many "fields" and He has comissioned us to labor in all of them. He wants the whole harvest brought into the storehouse, that none of the precious grain be lost.
Look farther than just the field you are now in, look up, there are many more fields ready for the harvest sickle.
God is in the filling business...
I want you to consider these verses as you think about the masses of humanity being "empty".
Psalm 72:19, Blessed be His glorious name forever and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Habbakuk 2:14, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
In both of these scriptures, the word "earth" in the Hebrew tongue means "the celestial ball and the inhabitants thereon".
There are many other verses that same essentially the same thing. One thing is for sure, God's plan and purpose is to "fill" the earth [the inhabitants] with His Glory.
So now, we ask ourselves, "What is the Glory of the Lord"? Or better yet, "Who is the Glory of the Lord"?
This would be an exhaustive study, but suffice it to say that Christ is the Glory of the Lord.
I will list just a few of the scriptures that verify this so you can look at them yourself: Col.1:27, Eph.3:21, Eph.4:13, Heb.3:3, Col.3:4, Rom.8:17, John 12:23, John 13:31
Winning the lost to Christ around the world is a shallow definition of God's world wide program.
According to the scriptures we have looked at, God's program of global proportions is to fill the earth [the inhabitants] with Himself, Christ, who is the Glory of God.
Wow! Changes your perspective of God and what He wants to do.
When I was growing up, I had an awareness of God but I was not a Christian. I had heard about the story of Jesus and did not deny it. However, it was only a historical fact. It had no relevance in my life.
My view of God was quite different then also. I didn't like to think about Him, because I had this mental picture of Him being a great big God and I was like a tiny ant. If I didn't do things that pleased Him, I would be stepped on and completely crushed. The God I saw was very angry and aloof, not close and personal at all.
That all changed though. In April of 1979 at the First Christian Church in Columbus, Kansas, I heard for the first time that God loved me and really cared for me. So much that He sent His Son to do something about the condition I was in. The historical fact became a present reality in my heart. I'm sure that before that, someone had tried to tell me this but I never heard it. The "ears" of my heart weren't open.
Now I know He has a plan and a purpose for me on this earth. It is to be a vessel to fill others with His Glory. Ukraine is an integral part of that plan. He has opened doors for us to share this "glorious" plan He has and "fill" the empty inhabitants with His grace and glory.
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory", Colossians 3:4.
David Tinney, October, 2002