Discipline moves us from sin to fruitfulness. Pruning moves us from self-centeredness to Eternal Kingdom living. This Abundant Life we now have in Christ, is a Life focused more and more on God’s Eternal Kingdom. It helps us not fear the unknown, because we trust God loves us and will protect and provide for us, no matter what happens. It helps us love God and others, because we will not be trying to GET from life, but will begin to seek ways to GIVE to life instead. It frees us from that MMI, lower, unfulfilling way of living because our hearts will be centered on higher, more everlasting things, like the Fruit. Instead of being consumed by resentment over someone who did us wrong, we can let it go, and continue to live at peace, as far as it concerns us anyway. (see Ro 12:18) Do we really understand how valuable and gratifying that kind of life is? Again, it is the Abundant Life! And it is exactly why God will discipline and prune us.
There’s a great chart in the book, page 66, that shows us the major differences between these two methods- disciplining and pruning- but if you misunderstand God, then as I shared yesterday, like me, you might extend your time of suffering. Now, we can always be thankful, and relieved, that God works all things together for our good, (Ro 8:28) yet, the sooner we get on board with what God is doing, the more we can work with Him to get to the other side of the suffering. So no more guilt, thinking “I must be doing something wrong?” And no more frustration, crying out, “What do You want from me, Lord?!” And no more confusion either, as Mr Wilkinson tells us in the workbook that goes with this little book, “Pruning is always future oriented—the cutting now results in gains later.” (workbook p38) So as we work with the Holy Spirit to live a life that reflects this precious Fruit, more and more, we will see that we are sowing seeds that will reap a harvest for our good, the good of those around us, as well as for the Glory of God. Once again, that is the Abundant Life!
2023’s Got A Minute? Book Club
January: The First & Best Book Ever: The Bible
February: Love Is In the Air: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman
March: Spring Growth: “Secrets of the Vine” by Bruce Wilkinson
<>< Peace, Diane