Just as soon as Emory pulled out the pruning shears and his step ladder I knew it was time to prune. It took him several days to get the job done because, like me he is getting slower and slower as the years go by.
But that’s not the end of this pruning thing. I recalled an earlier article I wrote about the importance of pruning. To have plentiful good fruit, pruning must take place. If I was a tree, I know it would hurt, but afterwards there would come such a freedom from dealing with all those excess limbs and would give me the energy to bear a good crop for the coming season. Oh joy!!
That’s when I began to consider the spiritual pruning I have endured the past few years. Instead of trying to prune myself—aka change my ways—I knew I was beyond helping myself, so I had to let the Master Pruner—aka the Holy Spirit—do the job for me.
The first thing He did was strip me of the need to prune others. He reminded me that if I was going to bless others, I had to heed my own words. You will know them by their fruits. (Matt 7:16 NKJV). Then He began to work on me.
First He pruned some of the branches that produced self-pity by exposing me to the billions of people who are suffering far more than I suffer: hungry children, lost souls dying, the persecuted and those facing martyrdom. The list could go on.
Then He began to work on my hateful spirit by putting me in all manner of circumstances to show me the error of my ways. He allowed me to have an affliction that keeps me in isolation much of the time, so I would spend that time doing what He has called me to do: inspire others with the seeds of inspiration which He gives me to sow. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. (2 Corinthians 9:10 NKJV)
Beloved, He has given us all seeds to sow that will bless others, so ask Him what He would have you do, then surrender and obey. You will be amazed at the fruit you can harvest. Then you can hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant……… enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23.NKJV)
Have I arrived? No, but I’m closer than I was last year. He’s still working on me. “But I want you to know, brethren that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Philippians 1:12