Sometimes when we are "Overcoming With God" then He puts us through a season of severe trials. While those times are terrible, He never leaves us without a benefit. Are you running around a lot doing things but not feeling satisfaction? Maybe you need some spiritual trimming.
Because we only get so much TIME on this earth. And if part of our fleshly self, or an abundance of ourself, isn't in alignment with what God needs to do with us while we are here, then He has to deal with that. And we do want to be pleasing to God, don't we? And what He brings about can bless you and others. Hard to imagine that being trimmed down to the core of what God wants us to do can feel "right" but it can.
Having been through a number of seasons of difficulty, including almost five years where I could barely walk, I can tell you that your life will be readjusted by God. He may prune out works of the flesh that are for getting praise or something out of doing the behavior. Works that were never motivated by pleasing God. Are you a people pleaser? Ouch! That may require some huge branches being cut from your life. But when God takes away those opportunities to be a people pleaser He's doing you a huge favor. Because then you grow closer to Him and realize that trying to please people is futile. You don't want to feel frustrated by that, do you?
|Four Seasons from Wikipedia|
When we're engaging in nonannointed works, it seems like there's something in the way. It's hard. We're frustrated. We're engaging in dead works. But don't we really want to do what God has planned for us? It may be a far narrower view than what we had of our lives being. But in working with the Holy Spirit there is an ease that comes. A satisfaction that what we're doing is "right".
Life passes quickly. When you look at the big picture of things, when you're engaging in activities that aren't done for God, you'll welcome that pruning. Sometimes we get so engaged in being "busy" with stuff that seems important we really do miss that point. And God may have to step in with a tree trimmer or even a chain saw if what you are doing isn't producing "good fruit"
The following is a great companion passage from the NIV version of the Bible. Thank you to Bible Gateway for the passage.
1 Corinthians 3: 10-15
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Takeaway: Giving God the glory. Taking the high road even when it hurts. Making our lives about what God wants us to do. All those things will make the sting of the trimming worth it all!
Giveaway: In my novella "Shenandoah Hearts", in The Backcountry Brides Collection, both the heroine and the hero go through some severe trimming. I'm giving away a copy of of this collection this week. Comment on this post or on Andrea Stephens' review of my novella later in the week to get up to two entries.