I am not particularly fond of fall. The mountain of leaves that need removing; the shortened days and the frost that kills the last blooming flower in my garden. I enjoy the beautiful colors and the last few warm days, but sadness stirs in me the cold deadness of winter will soon arrive. Some long for the crisp chill in the air, cozy fires and all those comfort foods that add to our ever expanding waistlines.
Scripture says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT). Like many of you, I don’t like change, I like routine it’s comfortable and predictable. We serve a God who is constantly involved in our lives. He moves us from our comfort zones where faith can become stagnate.
Jesus said, “I am the true grapevine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit and he prunes the branches that do not bear fruit so that they will produce even more” (John 15:1-3 NLT). This is the season of revival.
The gardener prunes only in a dormant season and knows where to make exact cuts otherwise the vine will die. If grapevines are not pruned, the vines will grow wild quickly, produce no fruit, suffocate new growth and become diseased.
We all go through periods of abundance and times of need throughout our Christian lives. These are the seasons described in Ecclesiastes chapter 3. The Lord has determined the course of our lives, he moves us in and out of these times, as he directs the productivity of our lives.
I am beginning to understand what James meant when he wrote, “Consider it all joy when trials come into your life” (James 1:2-4). It is the cutting away of the spiritual deadness we may experience and to develop a deeper relationship with our Lord, then our lives will produce all that he desires.
One of the greatest lessons the Lord has taught me “A closed hand can not receive”. I may not understand why something is not good for me and I may struggle to keep it. Whatever I finally surrender, as an expression of love and faith, the Lord fills me with something beautiful like purer faith, deeper trust or clearer understanding. That is when I discover what I was holding on to was truly harmful to me.
While the vinedresser is cutting those things out of your life, let them go and seek his face. Renew your commitment to his Lordship. Our fruitful lives are yet another expression of his unfathomable love for us.
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