Am I willing to be pruned?
You may be thinking, “Well what sort of question is that?“, but let me assure you it is a very valid one in my life – and honestly, should be in the life of every professing Christian. I will pose far more questions here than answers.
I want to ask this question again in a bit fuller sense: Am I willing to be pruned by the Father (God) in order that true, lasting and increasing fruit may be produced in my life?
If so, then I will continue to ask some questions.
“…every branch that does not bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2
Is pruning painful? – to the flesh, yes. Is pruning needful? – for the proper growth of the Christian, yes. So let’s consider more below together.
Are we using one area of God’s will where we may be obedient (at the moment) to justify our failure and sinfulness of another quite possibly more important area of God’s same will in our lives? Remember, God’s will is not divided nor does it war against itself but rather it is perfect and perfectly balanced. Let us go further.
Generally speaking, we can sum up much of our life as a Christian into three main area:
- Our private personal lives with God – a growing and deepening fellowship and worship. Am I actually persuing Christ personally in knowing His word and in prayfulness? Do I even desire to read, understand, and practice His word? Do I have a growing desire to walk the way of the Master?
- Our duty and privilege to love, serve and grow our spouces (if married) and children – to care for our families. Is my marriage being strengthened in Christ? Am I serving with all of my ability? Am I willing to be discomforted and put away my own selfishness?
- Our obedience to the Lord in ministry – both in and for the church and in being a witness to those who do not yet know the Lord. Am I serving out of duty alone? Am I just filling a void? Am I serving with a sincere heart overflowing with the word of God and the very person of Christ? For if I am not attentive in #1 and #2, then how can I ever truly be obedient in #3?
If I dare not ask these questions of myself, then how is it I will really ever grow to become a mature man or woman in Christ? If I would rather flea from such personal questions, then it should be no shock to me when seasons of great trial and tribulation come, even when times of temptation seek to lure my focus from Christ, that I fall flat on my face in the sinful mud of this world – here I should not expect anything for I am essentially a “double-minded” person (James 1:8).
May we all grow in the love, grace and mercy of our great God while today is still called today. May we seek Him while He still may be found. May we allow the word of God and the conviction of the Spirit to led us unto maturity.
May we allow the good and perfect Father to prune away the deadwood and improper growth of our lives.
Jeremy B. Strang – Christian, husband and father.