Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cutting & Pruning: 12) Marching On

God continues to cut and prune areas that took up time and energy, but were producing little or no fruit. I realize this process is a life-long process of following the Gardener into fields where fruit will grow and may continue to change as life moves on. The idea is not to narrow everything down, so we can say, “OK, from this point on I’m only going to do these things.” The idea is to rid ourselves of fruitless habits, activities and work to free ourselves up to be obedient to God in all things.

Looking back one last time at John 15, verse 14 and 15 reads, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made know to you.” Wow, to be recognized as a friend of Jesus and to know God! Jesus does not have a better or more complete revelation reserved for a special group. Everything Jesus would have believers to know is written in the Bible for us to read. Now the everyday working out is something we have to prayerfully ask and persistently seek to understand as we walk in faith.

Two things we must realize in this walk. One, God rarely reveals the entire picture to us in a way where we see the path from beginning to end and everything in between. Two, God rarely shows us in a way where we see the provision from beginning to end and everywhere in between. He tends to show us small steps without us being able to see where they are leading or how we are going to be provided for along the way. Usually it is just enough to require a step of faith, but not so much as to make perfect sense. Have you been there? Man wants to write down the perfect plan with step-by-step directions, safety net provisions and predictable results before we begin to move in any direction. This is the way of human understanding and the world. We must remember we are soldiers for Christ receiving instructions for a particular duty for a particular day.

Jesus sent out the disciples with the following words, “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support” (Matt. 10: 9, 10) Hmm, how many shoes do we have? Coats? How about dusty Bibles? Yes, those were different times, but the main principles are still the same and they are this: Do not be tied to anything on Earth that would prevent you from following Jesus and know when you do follow that God will provide along the way. The old saying is still true, “The finger that points the way is connected to the hand that provides.”

May you be blessed today and filled with the joy of following after Jesus!

Paul LaBathe

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