This is another side to my last post. I want to balance it out, but the other one was quite long.
There is much scripture especially in the New Testament that compares Christ with the vine, and us as branches. It goes on to talk about the task of pruning for the good of the vine.
Scripture also says that as son's, we can expect the discipline of the Lord, otherwise we would be illigitimate children.
If we are part of the Family of God, we have been purchased with the Blood of Christ, we have been drawn by the Spirit to a salvific faith, then we belong to Him as his adopted Children, whereby we can say, "Abba Father"; or "daddy".
There are many parts of parenting our children that can seem unpleasant in the trenches. If our children are demonstrating selfishness, or disrespect, it is our job to teach them and guide them to a better way. Sometimes, that can be painful. Introspection can be painful.
I remember sitting down with one of our girls and letting them know that their attitude was unacceptable. The tears started, and as we sat together and talked things through, and then we prayed together and then we talked some more, and then we talked about how to get that golf ball out of the weeds and onto the green. :)
She was open and listening and I sensed a genuine change in her spirit.
Another time, one of our girls wasn't so open. She didn't even want to pray, so I prayed for her. She was very upset about an issue. (she was right in her own mind, but obviously wrong) LOL After rocking her and calming her, we were able to come to a place where she could finally see, and then was willing to repent and receive instruction.
I think for those who belong to Christ, as adults, God deals with us in the same ways. We are confronted through the word with truth, or from the pulpit, or from a friend's word. If it is from the Lord, we receive it, and sometimes we don't. But there is a pruning taking place. There are weeds being pulled from our hearts every day, and sometimes entire limbs are removed. That can really hurt. But our heavenly father isn't standing over us laughing, or mocking or glaring down.... He is the pruner, who is pruning out of love for us, for our own benefit, because he sees the big picture. The eternal picture.
I think sometimes, especially in an eternal sense, we are so "me focused" that we forget that the world doesn't revolve around us or our ideas or us personally. There is a bigger picture.
I do think during yesterday's sermon (which wasn't all frustrating btw) our teacher gave truth too. We are too me focused. As a nation, we do indulge ourselves too much.
As a church we do the same. We have our pet things we want, programs we like, words we like to hear, songs we like to sing, and if we don't get what we want to get mad.
There are many church splits over this type of stuff.
But God.... the great pruner in our lives, has a tendency to get a hold of us, to stop us and get the wayward branhes out of our way so we can cling to that life giving vine.
When that pruning does take place, we can trust that the Father has intended what is best for His Kingdom, and that includes what is best for us. :)
There is a difference between spiritual pruning and judgment. Judgment comes to the lost, it is final and enduring. Pruning to the believer is for growth and maturity.
If we could look at the problems in our lives with the picture of our heavenly pruner... our perspective on those problems can be so changed, and instead of getting angry, it will cause us to cling to the vine, who is after all the author and perfecter of our faith.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)