Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11


Tonight, in my mind, I have a picture of myself. I see myself as a tree, one that is not trimmed and has branches and twigs sticking out in every direction. Maybe it is sort of bushy and overgrown, and maybe there are even a lot of dead twigs and branches in it. It is really not a bit pleasant to look upon. I am wondering if there is a parallel between this tree and myself. Then I see something else. I see a Gardener standing afar off. His expression is one of concern, and there is a question on His face. He is asking, “May I come and prune those ugly branches and turn you into a lovely, fruitful tree for the heavenly Father?”

But I say, “No, I like myself the way I am.” In my heart, I say, “I want to reserve this and that. I want to live my life for myself, because if I give up everything You would want me to, what do I have left?”

Tonight this little comparison seems to fit me so well. It seems like maybe the Lord is beckoning and asking for a total renewal of that covenant I made with Him some years ago. Will I yield to His call? Will I submit to His pruning shears? These are hard questions, and I see myself cringing, thinking the price is too great, thinking that I will lose everything, and that I will be just someone nobody knows.

But now I think, “What have I to lose? Am I some influential person who has many talents and has built up some very special reputation?” Then I think of those talents with which I may do good works—are they not a gift from God? Then why am I selfish with them? Why am I using them to make something out of myself when they were given to me? Where is the joy of my salvation? Have I drifted so far from the Lord that I have forgotten Him? Have I forgotten the many rich and precious blessings and graces He has bestowed upon me in times past?
Yes, I feel a coolness towards the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I wonder where He is. No, the Holy Spirit has not left me; rather, I have left my first love, and my mind has settled on myself too much—what I am and what I would want to be. I have dreamed dreams and set goals for myself without the Lord involved. I must stop in my tracks right here. I must pray for grace that I can open my life to the Lord and that from this day forward I can walk together with Him in the lead.

Then let the Lord prune what He will, even to the place where it would seem that there is nothing left. Then together we will walk, letting the Lord display Himself through me. I will have everything to be thankful for and everything to live for. I will have nothing to lose, and I will be rich beyond all measure, not in earthly wealth but in spiritual and heavenly blessings. I will have within myself a satisfied soul, one that has found its Maker and is journeying towards that heavenly goal. From here forward, I will let the Lord use what I have, not for my own personal gain but, rather, to His. Should not the One who has given me life, peace, wealth, and talents have all this back in return in appreciation for the great sacrifice He made for me?

From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 113, No. 03, February 4, 2015