Sunday, March 25, 2012


When God takes His pruning knife in hand and begins to strip the unnecessary twigs and branches from His
chosen ones, the result of it all appears to be total devastation. We are always happy, of course, when He cuts
away something we know is harmful to our well being... some carnal habit or worldly desire that we know is
hindering the joy of Christian living. Or even some religious enterprise that we thought was for His glory... but
which turned out to be empty and void and unsatisfying. But generally our Gardener will cut much deeper than
we expected. I am not the judge as to how much of your work for God was carnal to begin with. But God will
often dissolve certain religious activities even if it was right for a season. And the reason we are troubled about
it is because we do not understand what God considers to be vital for bearing good fruit. We must come to the
renewed mind, and love Him more, before we will understand what is well pleasing in His sight. With the carnal
mind we are quick to presume that if the church is thriving and the crowds are straining the facilities... God
wants us to expand in order to keep up with it. He may allow you to do that, but His desire may be that you
separate it into smaller groups... that He might discover more and better fruit in harvest time. The apple tree
and the pear, and the peach... are much more beautiful before the pruning, than they are after. But the fruit
farmer is looking only for the fruit; and the beautiful tree in his eyes is the tree that has been trimmed down in a
way that will cause it to produce more and better fruit in harvest time.
Are we afraid to ask the Lord to prune us down to the shape and size that He has in mind? Or will we continue
to go our own way, hoping some how that He might spare the knife because of our achievements, or because
of our ambition to be successful in the work of the Master? Once we catch sight of the “more excellent way” we
will sincerely ask Him to strip away every little twig and branch, every carnal desire, every bit of high
mindedness and selfish ambition... if so be He might come and make His habitation in His inheritance that He
has redeemed for His own pleasure. We need much pruning in our lives, to bring us to the place where we
sincerely, and out from hearts of love and gratitude, are desirous of one thing, and one thing only... that God
alone might be glorified in all that we are doing.