2018 The Culminating of Harvests
Joel 2:23-27
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you — The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. 27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.
2018 is the year of the culminating of harvests.
Most of us go into the future when we read Joel, instead of seeing it in the present tense. We often think that it represents the great coming of revival for the future, but are we not being awakened and stirred up individually now? As we go through this scripture, let’s look at it as God speaking to us in the present tense.
The meaning of culminating
It means to reach the highest point, or to reach the highest point of development. In the past, there have been times when we have heard a promise of God and we have worked it for a small season and then became discouraged because it has not culminated into the release of the blessing. This discouragement has caused many Christians to say, ‘don’t talk to me about the faith stuff’. Now, God through this Word is saying that there have been promises that He made to each one of us individually that we have abandoned. What we need to grasp is that God can and will bring them to pass, but do we have the intestinal fortitude to keep believing the promise He has given us, even if it takes thirty years to birth? God does not lie. This word in Joel for 2018 is for the church as a whole, but it is also for each one of us individually in the things that we have exercised our faith in so many times. God is saying, ‘keep pressing because 2018 will culminate in a harvest’. The promises that God has given us must culminate into their final stage. God’s people must not constantly have their hope deferred, but each one of us have a responsiblity in this.
Culminating also means to complete, or to reach a climax of our faith. Many believers have experienced sporadic harvest. Some are still waiting just to get a glimpse of some harvest, but God is overriding that thought in our heads and our hearts and He is saying that there must be a culminating of harvests. These harvests could be spiritual, mental, social, physical, and financial or it could be all of them working together as blessings in our lives because that is how it should work. Many times believers will agree with a promise but the time has come where we need to move from agreement to experience.
How do we deal with the lack of manifestation in our lives?
The Word of God is the culminating of harvests. Many, if not all of us have had something that has not materialized yet. How we deal with it as a church, as a family, as a husband and wife is we defer it to the future. For example we say, ‘ I know God wants to heal me, or I know God wants to give me a house’. What we should be saying is, ‘I know God has healed me NOW or I believe God has a house for me NOW’. The way we confirm the promise of God, is to tell people constantly. That is how we culminate our harvest. When we do not defer it to the future all the time. This is so important, because the lack of manifestation has caused us embarrassment or a more appropriate word would be shame. Some people have a disaster with relationships, and it has become a shame to them. When they start out in any new relationship they are already looking for the failure, instead of looking for the harvest. The Father has said 2018 is the year for the culmination of the harvests.
The former rain
The former rain is a reference to a natural occurrence in Judea, when rain would come in autumn. During this time the farmers would begin to plant. We should be doing the same as the rain of the Holy Spirit falls on us. We should be constantly planting the seed of the Word into our lives.
Planting
Mark 4:26
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,’
Just as the sower sowed seed on the ground, we should constantly be aware of what we are planting in our lives everyday.

Resting
Mark 4:27
and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.
In verse 27 the planting is done and now the sower can rest because he has planted the seed. And the seed he has planted will grow even though he does not know how it grows. That is the faith we should have in the seed of the Word.

...and the Harvest comes
Mark 4:28
28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
God is saying that there is a culmination of the harvest coming for the things that each one of us have been believing for – collectively as the church, but also as individuals. God has undertaken to make it happen.
Mark 4:29
29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
We cannot harvest in the wrong season. God has given us the ability to know by the Spirit when it is harvest time in our households and our individual lives.
There are seasons
There are seasons, and today is a preparation season for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a preparation season for the next week and the next decade. That is why we need to watch the seed we are planting everyday. If the farmer missed taking advantage of the planting season he would have no harvest.

Latter rain
The latter rain is a spring rain in the natural that comes just before the harvest. The purpose of the latter rain is to bring refreshing because at this time the land is parched and dry. How many believers are parched and dry? Why are they parched - because they have become discouraged at the lack of harvest in their lives? But that can change!
The purpose of the latter rain is to renew the soil. In a spiritual context, the heart of man is the soil. When the Holy Ghost moves, He brings the rain of the Word to the soil of our hearts to refresh and renew us.
Now, if the farmer (believer) never planted (the Word in his heart), and complained instead; then when the latter rain comes, he will have no harvest. In fact, He would‘ve wasted the former rain, which was the first Word of promise that God brought to him and is now unable to pick up on the second one (the latter rain) with the result that he has no harvest.
God wants us to have a culmination of harvests, but we must understand that if we don’t plant the water of the Word into our hearts then we will have no harvest and it will be through no one’s fault but our own.
When people become cynical to the Word of God, they have just thrown their seed away. Never let go of the seed that God gives you. Nurture it, even if it takes years. This applies to any facet of life. We are to farm in every season. If we do not make a decision to farm, then circumstances will make decisions for us with disappointing results because the devil will plant where we refuse to plant. He will plant thoughts in our heads and words in our mouths. He will cause us to hear his words until we begin to plant his seed in our hearts that will not bring a culmination of God’s harvest for us. There is absolutely no way around this.

What are we to do now?
We are to take the planting that we have done and allow the Lord to culminate the harvests in our life. From now on let’s make sure that we manage every season we are in, whether it is the former rain or the latter rain.
In this prophetic Word found in Joel, God supernaturally combines two seasons and He says, ‘the planting has come, but I am going to bring the latter rain immediately’. We can see this in Amos 9:13, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it.” This is not a natural occurence. How can we be harvesting when we haven’t even sown? In God we can. This is a type of the Spiritual and Economic awakening.
The Word for 2018 is the culmination of harvests. Let us align our life with God’s purposes and let’s receive our harvests!