I feel like the “raining and pruning” is a never ending process in the Christian journey. No surprise as God’s more interested in the person we’re becoming, than the places we end up.
I don’t know many times I’ve prayed, “God I want to grow, I want to change” and then He started to cut away the things He needed too, and I’ve protested passionately, “No, not that part!”
The truth is, growth hurts! It kills actually. It kills our pride, our self-sufficiency, our sinful desires and our hidden agendas.
And it doesn’t happen in our comfort zone, it happens in the midst of the fire (or should I say flood) when we’re faced with circumstances we can’t control, conflict we’re forced to resolve, or pride we realise needs to be cut out.
Sometimes we don’t need to ask God to change our circumstances, but we need to ask Him to change us through our circumstances.
Because we all know a tree that’s pruned and watered produces ten thousand times more fruit! Can I hear an Amen?!
The song New Wine, by Hillsong has to be one of my all time favourites. If you’ve never heard it before here are the lyrics.
In the soil,
You are breaking
New ground (hey)
You are breaking
So make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today.”
The truth is, singing it is easy, living it out hurts! Like REALLY hurts!
I guess there’s no terms and conditions in, “Make me whatever you want me to be.” God’s just like, “Ok then, crush, crush, crush.”
“Surrender” isn’t something we do from time to time before God, It’s a position we take towards Him – “Your will Lord, not mine.”
I remember as a teenager hearing someone say to me, “I guess that’s the problem with a living sacrifice, it can crawl right off the altar.”
That always stuck with me. A one-off “yes” isn’t enough. Following Jesus requires a continuous response, a repetitive letting go of our own path, our own ideas, and our own resources. Fire always falls on sacrifice and salvation only came through Christ’s surrender.
Imagine what would happen if we all actually stayed on the altar?
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters.
About the Author: Sabrina is a writer, pastor and relationships blogger. She is passionate about Jesus and changing the way people think about God & sex.