As God prunes us, I’ve found that it’s the smaller “cuts” that hurt the most.
Those sharp cutting off of attitudes, lack of joy, selfishness, living in a victim mentality, bitterness.
We can almost “feel the pruning sheers” severing off our evil judgments aimed at those we don’t “get” or whom we think don’t understand us.
The deep trimming away of jealousy and prejudice are hard to bear when they are sliced raw and laid wide open!
There are probably more than a few things in our lives that just might need to be pruned before we can produce rich and abundant fruit. What needs to be pruned in your life?
(Yes… I know you don’t like this question!)
Maybe you’re weighed down with resentments, with anger and that awful feeling of “why me?” Maybe you express this by being argumentative, harsh, or have a sharp, bitter tongue.
Max Lucado says, “God loves us the way we are, but loves us too much to allow us to stay that way.”
As a Christian I want God to create, to form and shape my attitudes and desires. The more He prunes me the more I can be like Him. When I let God prune me I am yielding to the cutting away of religious and self protective rights that are simply created with my very own brand of willfulness.
Our pruning must be intense and thorough in order for us to grow in God’s beautiful character.
Jesus spoke these deep words to us about pruning:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful,” John 15:1-2.
Just like a plant that is subjected to pruning during a specific season in order to bud, bloom and bear more fruit, seasons of testing come to us in life and are absolutely necessary to help develop of our spiritual gifts and most of all, this tests our character.
How we act or “react” when under pressure.
During these times, it seems as if the best that we have produced gets stripped away from us!
God is allowing fruitful areas of our lives, ministries, careers… to be cut back, in order for us to focus in a more significant and refined way, and be even more fruitful for His Kingdom.
- It is extremely important to recognise that God is at work during the pruning season.
- He is refining both your character and your gift.
- How you respond during this season is very important!
No matter what you have done, no matter what people have done to you, and no matter what the enemy has done against you, God is faithfully working ‘all things together for your good.’
Any Y-shape in the main trunk of a tree creates a weak zone with two competing branches. The lesson in this ” weak zone pruning” for us is, to choose whom we will serve.
As Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and money,” Matthew 6:24.
Pruning actually improves the health and strength of a tree, and it refines is as humans when God allows tests and trials to cause us to grow out of adolescent behaviors.
We humbly must remember that we are the work of God’s hand and that we “are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” Ephesians 2:19-22.
As our inward man changes, our outward actions will show it! Our pruning may not be pleasant sometimes, but we can take comfort in these words because God says, “Our light affliction, which is just but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:17.
“…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his magnificence,” Isaiah 61:3.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.