The Cleansing

"It is not the removal of weeds or thorns or anything from outside that may hinder the growth.  No; it is the cutting off of the long shoots of the previous year, the removal of something that comes from within, that has been produced by the life of the vine itself...What a solemn, precious lesson! It is not to sin only that the cleansing of the Husbandman here refers.  It is to our own religious activity, as it is developed in the very act of bearing fruit.  It is this that must be cut down and cleansed away.  We must, in working for God, use our natural gifts of wisdom, or eloquence, or influence, or zeal. And yet they are ever in danger of being unduly developed, and then trusted in.  And so, after each season of God, God has to bring us to the end of ourselves, to the consciousness of the helplessness and the danger of all that is of man, to feel that we are nothing.  All that is to be left of us is just enough to receive the power of the life giving sap of the Holy Spirit....O our holy Husbandman, cleanse and cut away all that there is in us that would make a fair show, or could become a source of self-confidence and glorifying. Lord, keep us very low, that no flesh may glory in Your presence. We trust You to do Your work." - Murray

It is amazing that God, our Husbandman would be so wise and loving.  He does not call us to do works for Him and then leave us to ourselves.  He cuts away all that is "us" and fills it with Himself.  To be able to be filled, we must be emptied.  To bear fruit, we must be pruned.  My prayer is that I don't see the pruning as a weakness, but as an opportunity for Christ to be glorified in me.  There are many times I feel that I can do something with my own talents and abilities.  It is then that God needs to prune away my self-confidence.  I pray that He will prune me, so that I may bear fruit.

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