God is pouring out His blessings to anyone who will hold their cup under the flow.
Unbelief tells us that we should be able to do whatever we want with the cup. After all, it’s our cup! We worked hard for it!
And, unbelief also tells us that it’s too dangerous to go and walk on a narrower path where God tells us to reassess who is to be on that pathway with us (or not!) or – when to hold out our “cup” where God promises that the blessings will flow.
But faith, FAITH listens to God and follows whatever direction He gives. The result of unbelief is an empty cup most of the time. (We may accidentally wander under the flow once in a while.) But, the result of faith is a cup that overflows with God’s deeper blessings — day after day, never ending.
The message of God in our generation is simple and clear and relevant: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, not leaning on your own way of thinking. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct (or straighten) your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6).
When God narrows our path or starts a pruning time in our lives it is often a misunderstood part of Spiritual growth. But spiritual pruning is an essential part of your spiritual life.
The wise gardener knows that pruning back the vine produces more fruit. He or she will cut off the unfruitful, superficial, sap-draining branches in order for all of the life-giving sap to flow to those branches that have the greatest potential to bear fruit!
God knows what He’s doing. God tells the truth about what He’s doing. God invites all of us to share in what He’s doing. The choice is ours to make.
What does God want to narrow or prune in your life? God prunes anything that is not spiritually fruitful. A wise gardener will cut away from the plant anything that is diseased or dead. But that it not all. He or she will also cut anything that detracts from fruitfulness.
So will God.
He will cut away and narrow any and all relationships, attitudes, behaviors, habits, or beliefs that are spiritually sick, dead or sinful. But not everything He cuts is bad. It could be neutral things, even unnecessary things, and non-eternal things. (Like TV, video games etc.) It may be stuff that just distracts us off a narrow course of focused service to others or that clutters the process. It could also be any unfruitful relationships, attitudes, behaviors, habits, beliefs.
When does God prune?
God prunes us consistently throughout our lives. The amount and type of pruning changes with the season.
In the natural realm, a good gardener prunes his plants most severely when they are young. He or she does this in order to force the plant to build a strong root system. Without a strong root system the plant cannot weather strong storms or severe drought. With the strong root system the plant will be stronger, the flow of life running through it will be enhanced and it will bear much more fruit over a much longer time. While the pruning may be painful in the beginning, it eventually produces.
After a plant is mature, the wise gardener will still take it through seasons of light pruning so it can continue to have seasons of great fruitfulness.
How and why does God prune us and narrow our paths?
God uses a combination of His Word and difficult circumstances, people, or events to prune us.Jesus said that the Father uses Jesus’ Word to prune us.
“Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit? You are already clean [pruned] because of the word I have spoken to you,” John 15:2-3.
To follow God requires faith because we can’t always see the outcome from where we stand right now. The result of such faith in God is deep and lasting joy, and the rich blessings of God that will never end.
Does it still seem a little confusing? Is it still unclear as to what God is calling us to do today? Well, God has made it very easy to choose the right path. (In fact, the Bible says that even a fool can’t go wrong on the path of God’s choosing.)
What about today? Is there any help for where we are right now?
Which way are you choosing? Look at your level of commitment, which you can judge by how much you put into practice what you know God would have you do. Would “narrow is the gate or pathway” describe the way you are choosing to live? Or, are you choosing the smooth way, the way that meets the least resistance?
Today, when you have a choice to make, take the humbling and narrow path of faith instead of the wide path of unbelief and pride of having control, and COMMIT your ways to the Lord. Trust Him with everything. He will then give you solid wisdom and good instructions for your life. You will be happier and greatly blessed with a lasting inner peace, and a life no longer denying the Savior permission to narrow your path and to prune away the attitudes, beliefs and mindsets in your life that limit the flow of the life of Jesus in me and hinder fruitfulness.
In Matthew 7:13-14 we hear Jesus saying, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|