Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Pruning.

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He 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."

Ouch. God is pruning a lot of people I know. Ouch. He just pruned me. It was a branch of laziness--sleeping in later than I should-- I really liked that branch, it made me feel good. But I guess it wasn't producing much fruit. Well, I know it wasn't. (That's my time in the morning to spend with God before anyone else wakes up. The time when he can plant the most seeds, and I sleep through it. And I wonder why I don't have much to give throughout the day? Perhaps because I'm missing my time to be filled and fueled).

How is he pruning you? I'm going to guess (an educated guess, of course) that the hardship you're facing right now is FORCING you to do things that you know you SHOULD have been doing all along. Things like praying, being responsible, considering others before yourself, budgeting, etc. Well, that's exactly what pruning is. It forces a tree to quit spending valuable energy and resources on branches that don't produce anything. 

I think God prunes us sometimes, and we accept it, but then after it's over, we try to go back and find the branch he cut off and put it back on. Any tree would tell you that's ridiculous. And yet we do it. 

This is a new year. Perhaps you just faced the hardest year ever in 2009. Perhaps 2010 is looking daunting. I challenge you to accept God's pruning, let the unfruitful branches die, and focus your time and energy on the things that will produce fruit. 

For me it's going to be reading the Word. Studying the Bible. Waking up early to let it permeate me. That lazy branch is going to have to wither and die, but I'm cool with that. 2010's going to be a lot better without that dead weight, and I can't wait till harvest time.

God, prune me. I give you permission. And help me let the old branches die. Help me to love as you have loved.



Aron and Erica said...

thats "GOOOOOOD, Pastor!"
beautifully said - you articulated much of what has been stirring in my heart. I love you.

j said...

ditto your wife..."that's good!" i'm going to be a stub once he is done pruning me...much to be done this year (this lifetime)! I like how you mentioned how we often go back and try to find the branch he cut off...seems ridiculous, but i know i've done this.

"He awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Isaiah 50:4

hayley said...

LOVE this truth. thanks for taking the time to share it. :) erica--expect an email from me soon...i'm hatching a plan and want to see if you want to jump on board. :)

j said...

FYI...finally got the chance to listen to Steve DeNeff's "Inklings:LOVE" tonight and I can't tell you how perfect the timing was for me to listen to this (especially the "loving others for the sake of God" part due to new news I just received this evening that i have been struggling with). Between that, Aron's pruning thoughts, and Spurgeon's insights on "light"...my heart is stirring something fierce and it feels good. Thank you for sharing truth...from the thoughts of others you've heard or read and from your own hearts. It is truly spurring me on, and I have been hungry for this. Love you guys!