July Fast Joint Service 2016.
“Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him” (Isaiah 51:2).
“He increased his people greatly, and made them stronger than their enemies” (Psalm 105:24).
“.. There shall be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26).
WHY WE FASTED
It is important to restate the purpose of our 31 days prayer and fasting exercise. First, it was to seek God, his strength and his face (Psalm 105:4). Second, it was to renew our covenant of life with God. Third, it was to equip ourselves for our drive for the harvest, which we have captioned OPERATION REAP – REAP being an acronym for revival, evangelism and prayer. Four, it was to thank God for all his help and blessings for the 31 days we have fasted and prayed. And lastly, it was to seek God for his blessings of bumper harvest.
OUR FOCUS IS ON THE HARVEST
Our focus has been on the harvest. It is for this reason we came up with OPERATION REAP. For me, two key words captures the essence of our pursuit for the harvest. The words are: INCREASE AND MULTIPLICATION. (Psalm 71:21; 115:14). When we chose the theme, Bumper Harvest for our fast, it was for increase and multiplication. When we talk about missions, evangelism and soul winning, it is all about increasing the number of our converts, multiplying our number, church growth and discipleship.
Increase could be in number, capacity, or possession; it could also be spiritual increase or material increase. Increase could be arithmetic or in geometric proportion.
EXAMPLES OF GOD’S INCREASE IN THE SCRIPTURES
God increased Abraham, and repeated the same in Isaac, and Jacob (Isaiah 51:2; Genesis.26:12-14; 28:14; 32:10). In Exodus 1:7-13, we also read that God increased the children of Israel. He increased them to such an extent that they became formidable and irrepressible. “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.” Furthermore, God increased Job after his period of affliction (Job.42:12-16). As regards the harvest, in Acts of the Apostles we read that God granted increase to the Church daily.
DIMENSIONS OF INCREASE
God’s increase occurs in different ways and areas, for instance, there is the
Increase the work of our hands. God’s promise to us is that he will increase the work of our hands (Deuteronomy.28:8,12).
- Increase in our giftings and ministry
- Increase in wisdom and knowledge
- Increase in prosperity (Genesis.26:12)
- Increase in blessings (Psalm 115:12-14).
- Increase in power (Ephesians.3:16).
- Increase in strength (Isaiah.40:29).
- Increase in faith
- Increase in favour (Genesis.39:21; Daniel.1:9).
- Increase in ability.
- Increase in territory (1 Chronicles 4:9).
- Financial increase (Malachi.3:10)
As we said earlier, God’s increase comes in various ways and areas, but our greatest desire is for the increase in souls.
KAIROS MOMENT FOR THE HARVEST
This is our Kairos moment for the harvest. If we desire the harvest we must work hard for it. Two passages define what our attitude should be in this harvest season. The first is in Proverbs 10:4,5 which states, “Being lazy will make you poor, but hard work will make you rich. A sensible person gathers the crop when they are ready; it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest.” The second passage talks about the importance of working in the right season “A farmer who is too lazy to plough his field at the right time will have nothing to harvest” (Proverbs.20:4 GNB). We must all rise and work hard in this harvest season.
FACTORS THAT MAKE GOD’S INCREASE POSSIBLE
God’s anointing gives increase to our efforts. Peter experienced a great harvest in Acts 2 due to the anointing of God.
Faith in God and in his word activates increase (Luke.5:5).
Increase is a result of the seeds we sow (Malachi 3:10).
Increase is a factor of divine favour (Luke 5:3).
All of us can experience God’s increase in one way or the other. May God shower multiple increase upon us. May we truly testify to God’s increase in the coming months and years!