"Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears" (Joel 3:10).
In this third chapter of Joel, we hear the prophet describe a time yet to come. It will be a time of great harvest on the earth, and this verse describes the catalyst. A plowshare is an agricultural instrument used to till the soil. At this point in history, it was a tool that speaks of one's vocation. However, the prophet is speaking of a time yet to come. The prophet describes the plowshare as an instrument that will be turned into a sword. The sword is often used in the Bible to describe God's Word. The only way a plowshare can be turned into a sword is for it to go through extreme heat and then the blacksmith must beat that plowshare into shape. Heat and punishment of the metal turns that plowshare into an instrument of battle. God must do this in each of our lives to be useable as a worthy sword. We are all in a battle--a spiritual battle. Paul describes our battle against the principalities of the unseen world. I believe God is going to raise up many in the marketplace to use their plowshare as a weapon of righteousness in these last days. That weapon won't be used for destruction, but as a weapon of love. That weapon of love will yield a great harvest in our lifetime. But this is only part of the story.
God is also going to turn our pruning hooks into spears. A pruning hook is used in two ways. First, it is used to prune a tree for greater growth and productivity. It is also used to cut the fruit from taller trees in which one cannot reach the fruit. This fruit from our vocation is going to be cast forth like a spear, but even more as seed planted to bring the harvest of which Joel speaks. Fruit from our business life is often the financial rewards generated. God wants to use our finances and everything else for His purposes. We must use our vocations and the fruit that comes from it as seed to bring the great harvest that God is planning.
How are you using your plowshare and your pruning hook for the glory of God today? Ask God to show you how He wants to use your skills, resources, and relationships to prepare for the great harvest He has planned.