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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crops first - then the barn

27 First plant your fields;
   then build your barn.
(Proverbs 24:27)

Okay...seems simple enough, doesn't it?  But how many times do we get caught up in just the opposite?  We start "counting our chickens" even before the eggs hatch!  What amazes me about our heavenly Father is that he has an ORDER to all he does!

Even nature has an order about it that was perfectly thought out when he created the world in which we live, the universe surrounding us, and all that we have come to take so much for granted.  Without that "order" being maintained, the world in which we live would be absolute chaos!  Think of a world without the wind to circulate the seeds, gentle rains to moisten the soil, and exactly the right balance of sun and shade to allow the gentle shoots of life to spring forth!  

As often as we have probably heard the old adage of "putting the cart before the horse", I wonder if we have ever used it as a means of evaluating what we are doing, how we are making choices in life, and how we expect God to respond to our prayers.  

The writer of the proverb reminds us that the crops need to be in the ground before we begin the tedious work of building the barn.  A barn is a nice structure, but is pretty much useless if there is nothing to put in it!  It would be like having a really cool pair of shoes that are in the totally wrong size for us - we'd be able to look at them, admiring the handiwork, but never wear and enjoy them as they were intended to be worn!

Planting crops takes a while to see a "yield on your investment".  Not all fruit in our lives is immediately apparent - if we are expecting fruit without the tree being developed enough to support the weight of the fruit, or the nutritional needs of the fruit, we are "building our barns" before we "plant the crops".  

Whether it is fruit in relationship, or that which comes through emotional and spiritual connection with our heavenly Father - it takes time!  We must guard against "jumping ahead" of God's timing - his work within our lives is ORDERLY.  Priorities matter to God.  

Growth requires work!  Ugly truth that this is, it is the truth!  Why do we "build barns" before the crops are in the ground?  Because we can "see" the barn!  The crops within the ground can take months to develop - giving us little evidence of their promised reward!

So, the moral of the story - focus on the crops!  Get things in right order and see what God will do with a life that is focused on him first!  The barn will get built - just in the right time!