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Friday, January 18, 2008

Pruned or Punished?

"Discipline is when God deals with the sin in your life. Pruning is when God deals with the 'self' in your life."

This statement has stayed on my heart and mind for the last couple of hours. I heard it from a pastor on the radio tonight. It made me begin to think about myself and how God is dealing with me right now. I believe that I am being pruned.

When something is pruned the weaker fruit or branch is removed from the vine or tree so that the stronger branches/fruit can grow even stronger. You know, you get all of that little underbrush out so that the fertilizer can go to nourish the stronger, more beautiful trees.

Now do not get me wrong. The Lord definitely disciplines me too, but lately I am sensing more of a pruning. Neither are pleasant or easy. Both require me to face the fact that I am not who God wants me to be and He wants to take something away from my life that is not for my benefit.

Well, truth be known, I sometimes like the things in my life! It's really comfortable sometimes. Honestly, sin use to be really fun! I don't always want to lose those little weak branches. They have been with me for a long time and if I lose them I am going to be awfully bare! Change is not fun. It's painful. It's hard and it requires more of me than I am sometimes willing to give. I don't always trust that the thing being pruned really needs to leave and so I hold onto it.

But when you tell God that you are willing to live for Him, well, honey, He just won't take second place to all of that! Oh no sir! He will get busy cleaning and pruning and He won't stop until He has you so clean that you can't imagine going back to being dirty. You don't want to go back. You want more of Him and less of you to show in your life and so the pruning process begins. After all He IS the Almighty God and those little branches of prideful nature and ego and self righteousness just have no place in the fruit that is suppose to be on our trees.

Frankly, I am glad that God both prunes and punishes me. Were it not for His hand in my life I am sure that I would be somewhere drowning in my own sin. My pride would be eating me alive and my self righteous behavior would be killing me. I deal with all of this even though I know the One who cleanses me from all unrighteousness and so He can't stop!

Lord, please don't stop pruning! I need You to work in my heart and life to make me who You want me to be. I can not do this on my own. I do not know how to clear out all of the little branches that steal my energy and joy by myself. You are the only one who can show me how to surrender to You daily. You are the only One who can show me how to lay down my sin and follow You. Lord, I am prideful and I need Your forgiveness. I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness everyday.

John 15:1-4
" 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."


What about you? Are you allowing God to prune you? Is He working in your life to change some "self"things and make you more like Him? Praise Him! He has His hand on you and that is exactly where you want to be!! In the palm of your Maker's hand!! It may be painful for a little while, but He is also the Great Physician. He can heal all wounds and make you stronger than you've ever been!

1 comments:

Leigh Gray said...

this is an incredible post. i learned so much!! thank you taking the time to share with us.

love, Leigh