“But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year. It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil.” – Deuteronomy 11:11-14 (NASB)
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to farming. Everyone knows there is a time to plant and a time to harvest (Ecclesiastes 3:2). But the timing of the rain is also an important factor. A good soaking rain is beneficial in the season of sowing, helping seeds to get firmly planted and set in the soil to grow. But a heavy rain could be very detrimental to young plants as they begin to poke up through the soil, disrupting the roots from becoming strong and even damaging the plant structures. Just before harvest, a good rain will help mature plants to properly develop their fruit or grains to yield of bountiful crop. The right rain at the right time is key in producing a great harvest.
The falling rain can be likened to the falling of the Holy Spirit on our lives. And it would seem this idea of the Holy Spirit falling at different times and in different ways is one that is consistent with how he truly works. There are times when he comes in like a glorious downpour, and we can barely stand under his presence. There are other times when he comes in like a steady rain or a mist, and other times when he rests upon us like dew. Each way of experiencing the Holy Spirit’s presence brings a different result, whether it is to stir us up and empower us, to heal us or to impart knowledge or inspiration.
God is acutely aware we need different rain at different times throughout a season, whether we are planting, growing or harvesting. He says his eyes are constantly on the situation, year round. He gives us a key for how we can be sure we’ll get the right rain at the right time – by listening obediently to his commands, loving him and serving him with all our heart and soul. When we do this, he says he’ll send us the right rain at just the right time so we may gather a bountiful harvest.
Our obedience and our love towards God are such powerful factors in positioning ourselves to receive from the him. We are not made righteous through works – for sure, that's a function of our faith and the goodness of God – but obedience and love get us into the right place at the right time to receive. God will send his Holy Spirit upon us like rain at these times – just the right strength, just the right message – to get us through whatever season we are in, and producing a bountiful harvest of fruit.