If you’re planning to visit a Christmas tree farm this year, the trees you’ll be choosing from are the results of careful planning. Five or six years ago, the farmer planted a pine cone seed in fertile soil. He believed in that pine cone seed and that one seed would produce enough to stake his livelihood on it. I learned what drives farmers like that to do what they do when I was a student at Oral Roberts University in 1967. It set the course of my life and ministry, forever. It is something so simple, yet, powerful enough to create an entire universe. It is something so obvious, yet easily overlooked. It is…faith in seed.
I remember boldly declaring to Gloria back then, “I am going to have the hundredfold return. You and I will walk in it. We’re going to do things and have things that people will be too scared to even talk about. But we are going to do it!” Since that time, a lot of people have told me, “Copeland, you just set your sights too high.” Well, I’m just doing what the Apostle Paul did: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, KJV). Notice it’s a high calling, not a low one.
That’s why, in nearly 50 years of ministry, I’ve found that a lot of church people—even preachers—get upset when you start talking about believing God for 30, 60 and a hundredfold return on what you sow into His kingdom. They get real nervous when you challenge them to receive all God has set before them. But go talk to some farmers about the hundredfold return. That’s what they’re all after. They’re doing everything they can to get a hundredfold harvest from the seed they sow. Why, then, are Christians so reluctant when it comes to believing God for a hundredfold return? Because they don’t understand the principle of seed faith. Believers should use their faith for return on what they sow, the same as the farmer does.
God does everything He does by seed, and farmers do everything they do by seed. .
A Lesson From a Farmer
In fact, a farmer is whom God used in 1947 to plant a seed in the heart of Dr. Oral Roberts. He planted this very principle of faith in a seed. At the time, Dr. Roberts was pastoring a small church in Enid, Okla. He and his wife, Evelyn, had two children—and that was about all. They had no home, no car, few belongings, and lived from house to house with church members.
But on an unusually cold spring morning, just a couple hours before sunrise, a farmer knocked at their door. The man apologised for waking them, but explained that he couldn’t wait any longer. He was about to lose his farm. It turned out that this man was a member of Dr. Roberts’ church and happened to be one of the wealthiest men in the county. He had a large farm, but had lost a lot of money in the stock market and was about to lose everything. He came to Dr. Roberts for a miracle.
“God had me dig this up out of my backyard,” he said. Then he handed an old can to Dr. Roberts. Inside were four one-hundred dollar bills. “I want to put this in the offering for you and your family.” In a church service the night before, Dr. Roberts had approached the church members about purchasing a parsonage. An offering was taken toward the down payment of a house and this farmer gave nothing. That night, however, God spoke to him.
“Oral,” the man said, “I’m a farmer, and I believe in seed. I’m not considering this as money. I’m considering it as seed for my miracle.” Those words struck Dr. Roberts’ heart, and by the Spirit of God he heard, Seed faith! Faith in seed. Faith in God’s way of doing things. In the end, that farmer got his miracle, and Dr. Roberts got his house. But Dr. Roberts also went on to build his life, his ministry and a university worth more than half a billion dollars in property alone—and all by faith in a seed.
We Say Need—God Says Seed!
When we go to God with a need, He immediately begins talking to us about seed—something we can sow, or that we have sown, that will meet that need. Oftentimes, however, that’s the last thing we want to hear. For example, there was a young rich man who ran up to Jesus and asked, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17, KJV). He literally knelt before The LORD with all his need. He wanted eternal life. “Go…sell whatsoever thou hast,” Jesus told him, “and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (verse 21, KJV).
With that, the man got up from his knees and walked away downcast. Verse 22 tells us why. “For he was holding great possessions” (AMPC). This rich man came to Jesus with a need—the need for eternal life—and Jesus began talking to him about planting seed, but the man didn’t realize it. In his natural way of thinking, he thought Jesus meant he was just supposed to give away everything he had. But that wasn’t the case at all. Jesus was simply trying to help him change from the world’s way of doing things to God’s way, by sowing a seed.
Teaspoonful or Truckload?
If you and I are going to enter God’s kingdom and operate in His ways, we must have faith in seed—and I don’t just mean have faith in God. Yes, we must trust God, but we must also have faith in the seed itself. We must believe it will produce for us, the same as a farmer would believe. The Bible tells us that God based His kingdom, as well as the universe, on the principle of seedtime and harvest (Genesis 8:22). It has operated that way ever since. Using parable after parable, Jesus taught His disciples the value of seed, as well as the power of faith in seed (Mark 4:21-34). But in the middle of all that teaching, He challenged them to have ears to hear. “To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them” (verse 25).
In other words, you and I are only limited by how much we choose to hear, or how much we choose to measure. What exactly are we measuring? The amount of WORD we hear. Like the disciples, God’s challenge is, “How much will we measure? How much of His WORD will we give ourselves to? The 30, 60 and hundredfold is not a theological debate. It’s a responsibility that falls back into our laps. We ultimately determine the amount of “return” we receive from every seed we sow into the kingdom of God. We decide whether it will be a teaspoonful, a handful or truckload.
God has faith in seed. That’s His way of doing things. His kingdom doesn’t operate any other way. God is waiting. It’s your move. It’s your measure. You don’t have to wait for the new year to begin sowing seed. That Christmas tree farmer is already five years ahead in his sowing. Now, you do the same!
Dare to Shine His Light on Seed Faith This Christmas!
- What need do you have in your life right now? How can you sow a seed toward receiving a harvest in that area? If you aren’t sure—seek the Lord and have ears to hear His answer.
- Sow seed by giving to your local church or a ministry committed to furthering the work of the Kingdom.
- Sow seed by giving someone an unexpected gift that you know will bless them.
- Sow seed by paying for someone’s coffee or food at a restaurant.
- Keep a journal of the seed you’ve sown. Be sure to name each seed by documenting what you are believing for in return for the seed sown.
- Begin to seek and expect supernatural blessing on your life this Christmas season. God’s provision is better than anything you’ll ever find under a Christmas tree.
BY KENNETH COPELAND