If I am honest there are times when my view of God has been like that of a genie. I have believed that if I rub Him the right way by adding the actions of prayer and faith to my spiritual walk, He will pop up and give me what I want.
That is a drastically wrong view of God. His purpose is not to give me everything I want but to give me everything I need that will conform me to the image of His Son, so that I can bear much fruit, (John 15:1-2). In this journey there will be times that He will allow me to be hurt.
John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
Have there been times in your life where the Divine Gardner has cut everything out of your life except your relationship with God? Maybe you have not recognized it as pruning because it was a relationship that failed, a termination from a job, an illness, or a dream that hit a dead end.
The wounds of this divine pruning force us to pay attention to our relationship with God. In these experiences we find He is all we have and He strengthens our connection to Him, the vine. By being connected to the vine through pruning seasons, He can soften our hearts and delight in our growth; and we can produce a greater harvest of spiritual fruit.
When was the last time the Lord pruned you and cut you down to the nub? How did you respond to the pain of the wound? If we embrace His pruning and are totally submissive to the process, can we produce an abundance of fruit to His glory? Whatever He has cut back was something we needed to loose.
God’s purpose for us is to bear fruit, and in order to be fruitful we must submit to pruning. We must remember the Pruner is always good. His promise to us is that we will bear more fruit of righteousness and become more like Christ. When we resist the pruning, we are really fighting back and in essence refusing to glorify God, thwarting the purpose of our existence.
We can trust Him; He has been pruning for a lot of years, He does know what He is doing. We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Himself submitted to the divine wounding. God the Father allowed and destined His Son to be wounded for the greater glory.
Praise God that Jesus endured the pain of divine wounding for the glory that would follow. It is hard to comprehend such love for sinners as wretched as ourselves. But you and I can worship the One who loved us so much that He wounded His only Son, and that by those wounds we would be cleansed, forgiven, and healed. We can submit ourselves to the beloved Son who Himself submitted to God’s wounding.
In submitted obedience we find hope and joy as His Word remains in us and finds a home in our hearts. Our joy is found in obedience. May we prayerfully draw near (John 15:7) walking, knowing and bending to His will, and knowing who we are before Him, (John 17:23).
When we first read the word abiding it sounds comforting and to some measure it might cause us to skim over the impact of the pruning. God is going to prune us to bear more fruit. We will find our hope and joy in obedience to Him as His Word remains in us and finds its home in our hearts. May you prayerfully draw near to Him walking, knowing, bending to His will and finding who you are before Him (John 17:23).
Abiding is the model for knowing Jesus at a deeper level as you do life together with other believers. How has the Lord been pruning you to a deeper abiding in Him?