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The picture of a farmer sowing seed appears frequently in scripture as an example of the believer sowing the seeds of God's Word. James 5:7-8 uses the farmer to help us understand the attitude that will bring increase in this time: "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain."

You must also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. The signs of the times indicate that the return of Jesus Christ is near. I believe that this is the final generation. Whether or not this is the world's final generation, this is certainly your final generation! We must be busy about our Father's business. James shows us the farmer who has put out his seed and then hopefully looks for the coming of the rain that will cause it to grow.

Patience is not merely inactive waiting. The Bible idea of patience is to continue unmoved by any attack or evidence that is contrary to God's promises. The farmer is not idle as he waits for the rain to come. He is busy attending to the field. He works hard not only to sow the seed, but also to keep a quality environment for it. His expectation is for a great harvest, and all his work is done in that belief. Even though he knows that his time, money, and effort will bring no income until harvest time, his confidence in the future crop inspires him to continue. 

An expectation is a strong anticipation. Our family dog is a Yorkshire terrier named Elliot. Like many dogs, when a Milk Bone biscuit is held in front of him, he knows the right thing to do. He is certain that he will get the treat if he is perfectly still and controlled. His eyes never leave it. He is focused and undistracted. His confidence is high, and though his nickname is Mr. Motion, he will remain still until he gets that Milk Bone.

Intense expectation and hope work together hand in hand. Hope is a confident expectation. With an intense and confident expectation, you can look for the promises of God to become reality. Circumstances must not move your attention away. You must hold fast to what your faith in His Word assures you that you have received.

The farmer cannot stop and switch crops in the middle of the year. If there are difficult times, he must stay diligent in his work and confident that it will pay off in the end. He does everything in his power to keep the seed prepared for the rain. Neither can the farmer change the weather conditions to make it rain. But this is where you, the believer, differ from the farmer, because there is something you can do to bring the Holy Spirit's rain onto your seeds. You can create an atmosphere for His rain. Rain does not come out of a cloudless sky. Sometimes it does not even come out of a cloudy sky. Rain comes only when the atmospheric conditions are correct.

In the Bible, rain often represents the blessing and presence of God pouring onto His people. Hosea 6:3 says, "Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth."

These are the days of the outpouring of God's presence and the moving of God's Spirit in a greater measure than at any time in history. He is opening the heavens to bring a flood of His goodness, and He is bringing increase to His people in every dimension. You can flow with Him and see the rain of His anointing and presence in a deeper and more powerful way.

In order to obey God's Word, you must make it the first priority and final authority in your life. That means that you go to the Word first and believe His promise is true, regardless of contradicting evidence. Obedience is going where He says to go and doing what He says to do. Isaiah 1:19 says, "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land."

The Word of God states over and over that there are blessings that come with obedience, but a penalty for disobedience. Many want the blessings yet do not want to obey. You must follow through with the instructions God gives, to receive the results He has promised. If the believer is to be full of God's presence and experiencing His blessing, he must cultivate an attitude of obedience and a yielded heart toward God and His Word. Those who obey Him will best reveal His presence.

If you will choose to follow the instructions in God's Word regarding your time, attitudes, giving, priorities, and willingness to yield to His influence, you will create an atmosphere around you in which He can move. The conflict is that there is an inner desire to please God and express our love to Him, and yet there remain outer influences and attitudes of independence that say "I can do it on my own and still succeed." Your willingness to pursue God's will increases as you discover the blessing of yielding your will to His.

It seems that one area most Christians struggle with is finances. In their hearts they want to be givers, and yet they have not realized that intentions without actions are equal to disobedience.

The Bible is clear about the giving that God expects. He has a heart to give and has caused that desire to be born within you. Then He has given the guidelines to follow: tithes and offerings. There is a vital link between a person's use of money and his or her life of obedience toward God. You can see people's priorities by seeing how they spend their money. They put their money toward what they see as important. You will invest in the thing that you value. When you value the advancing of the Gospel, you want to invest in the ministries that are promoting God's Word. When you hunger for real spiritual growth, you will spend time and money on the tapes or book materials that will cause you to grow.

Your giving into the Kingdom of God brings your personal financial world under His dominion. It is one way of demonstrating that Jesus is Lord over everything. When you give, you are giving a part of your life, because it took some of your life to earn that money.

It takes a heart of faith and obedience to remain yielded to God. He will touch various areas of your life from finances to attitudes, and anything in between. But that expectant obedience creates the atmosphere that will cause your seed to grow and His increase to become a reality.

Source: The Power To Increase by Dennis Burke.
Excerpt permission granted by Dennis Burke Publications

Author Biography

Dennis Burke, Ph.D.
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Since 1979, Dennis Burke has led multitudes of believers into the biblical principles of faith, healing, love, prosperity, and righteousness. Through the Insights: the Way to a New Life magazine, books, eBooks, CDs, and mp3 resources, Dennis has brought revelation knowledge on the truths of God's Word. He has taught Christians everywhere to know God more deeply and overcome the challenges life brings through faith in God's Word.

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