PRUNING GOD’S WAY (Part 3 of Blog Series Growth In The Vine)
As I was reading about the life of a grapevine, I was amazed how easy it is to look at a grapevine and not recognize when it is unhealthy and diseased. It usually looks healthy and attractive on the outside, but the disease is hidden within. This is exactly like sin and temptation in our own life. Our Christian walk can look attractive, confident, and healthy to everyone. But, within, where no one sees but ourselves and the Lord, we are diseased by sin. It is also similar to an appealing temptation from Satan. We see how appetizing it is to experience the temptation. Only afterwards does the hidden pain and disease come from the results of our choices. What seems to be the most harmless and healthy usually causes the most destruction in our life!
When we are not walking in open, rebellious sin, God’s disciplines us so His life flows more freely through us. This is “pruning.” God uses trials, struggles, and temptations – all so that His children (the branches) are cleansed – made healthier and livelier. This is our growth in maturity in Him. Sure “pruning” is painful. That is why it is a daily walk of the cross for us. But, beyond the death, we must look at the resurrection – His life. Alleluia!
King David is a perfect example of this when he had his one-night stand with Bathsheba. Bathsheba became pregnant and David was the father. Instead of immediately repenting, David (like we) immersed into a conspiracy to cover up the sin of adultery. David sent for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, who was at the battlefront. David encouraged Uriah to sleep with his wife, so the implication would be that Uriah was the father. (David must have been glad DNA testing was not yet available.) When Uriah refused to sleep with his wife, David then planned to have Uriah killed (“Murder” is the more appropriate word.) when he returned to battlefront. Once Uriah was murdered, David took Bathsheba as his wife.
David believed his cover up was successful. But, it was not. If only David had permitted the Lord to “prune” him, he would have not had so many unnecessary crosses – especially with his children. You can read the specifics about David’s sin, cover up, and restoration to the Lord in II Samuel Chapters 11 and 12. The key point for mentioning this story is the “pruning” David needed to undergo. So be encouraged when the Father is “pruning” you. Think of David – a man after God’s own heart.
STAY TUNED. More about pruning in the next blog post.
This is an excerpt from my book GROWTH IN A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. You can read/order it (and my other books) from http://www.LifeUnderGrace.com.