Trees in my neighborhood are disappearing. I woke up this morning to see blank space across the street. Yesterday, a large leafy tree guarded the sight of the woman’s house.
On my morning walk, I spied another operation on a side street.
I was struck by the sadness I felt. These trees were not even in our yard. Somehow their presence meant something, but what?
In the past, I would have dismissed my sadness, deeming it unnecessary … even unworthy of attention.
With Jesus, I have learned to bring my feelings to His light, asking Him to show me things:
Lord, I praise Your holy name. You are righteous and all-knowing. Where is this sadness coming from? Would you reveal to me knowledge if it is Your will to do so?
He led me to John 15 before my walk.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:1-4).
What branch in me have you cut? What needed to go?
Though I did not receive a clear answer from Our Lord, I sensed strongly the draw to surrender something. For as God grows the ministry He assigned me, there are a multitude of needs to attend to, both in my own family and in the wider family of God. He knows my tendency to overspend time on social media. He also knows social media is one area where the devil tempts me.
He tempts me to doubt my calling in the kingdom of God. I hear things whispered in a raspy voice:
how will you stay connected to people if you limit social media?
do you see how God is passing you over?
I don’t submit to these measly, weak attacks from the enemy 100% of the time, but there builds a taxing … a weight … a burden when I do not manage my time well.
I thank You Jesus for showing me the stump and how once cut, there was a clear line of vision. I ask for Your heavenly guidance to create a social media schedule which honors You and You alone.
I tell the truth. Jesus has nudged me several times to create a schedule, limiting my use. I was trying to act in my own strength to manage what I knew to be a great temptation. That is a recipe for failure.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).
Because He does not turn away from our shortcomings, we are led to shine in spite of our weakness. With His help, we are pruned to bear such delicious fruit of the spirit that others will want to taste and see His goodness.
Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
I don’t believe we could ever submit or surrender enough. There is an unending nature to our sin, isn’t there? Ah, but you can get to steppin’, devil, because Our Redeemer lives and breathes into His chosen. We are connected with our savior as a vine is connected with its branch. Sorry to inform you, satan, yours is the branch that withered then picked up by Jesus Himself and thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6).
May you not fear when God says to let go of something (or limit it severely). May you trust in Our Holy Gardener who wants to use you and your life for the good of His people who love Him.
Thank you for joining me today. It is wonderful to have you here.
Feel free to let me know in the comments how God used this post.
I pray you receive a blessing needed from God today, this given day.