Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gardening with sharp shears

It was spoken over me not too long ago about how Jesus is the True Vine and I am a branch. That as we are vitally united, He pours Himself into me to produce fruit in my life.

It was cool because I got such a physical sense of a filling with His Spirit and His love, pouring into me. But even better, how connected He wants to be with us. Bear with me as I write this out. I think it out as I write.

Anyone that looks at a tree or plant, will see the vine or trunk swelling with growth. And as a branch starts growth, it swells too, because of the sap flowing through the trunk, and into the branch. (I could get all scientific here, but I'm not going to, because I'm not scientific!)

I just 'saw' in my mind a picture of a movie-like shot of a tree all in one motion - growing from a sapling, up into a huge tree, complete with many branches. And into limbs and into the leaves on the ends of the limbs. Whoosh! Growth.

But okay this is nothing new. The vinedresser, the vine, the branches. Ho hum.

I was pulling weeds one day and noticed that many little weeds were growing out of an old cement and brick ledge. (Why can weeds grow anywhere in any conditions, but the plants that we spend money on die with the best of conditions!) Somehow a seed was dropped there and it took root.

There it is. The answer.

The roots. When I coldly pulled the little weed out, a huge long root followed it. No dirt. Just root.

So if a tree or plant puts out strong roots, it will grow, thrive, be able to withstand the storms and winds, and grow up huge and tall.

I love the verse, "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit." (Ampl.) Jer. 17:8.

The roots by the river. Who is the river? In John 7:37, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!" Jesus is the River. So if I grow my roots deeply in Jesus, I will not fear when the heat comes and my leaves will be green and not wither. And I will continue to produce fruit in my life. I can even grow roots in the midst of cement and stone and brick in my life (have you ever been between a rock and a hard place?!)

But what about those gardening shears? You use those when you want to increase fruit production. You remove parts that are dead, or hindering true growth. He has removed businesses from my life. He has cut out people that are hindering me from growing. He has removed people that I was getting too tangled up with. You get the idea.

But there are branches not producing anything at all. A tree surgeon calls those dead. Duh. And they take the chain saw and down they come. The tree looks alot cleaner without them and usually within a few years, a new shoot will begin to grow in it's place. Ouch.

First of all it hurts to be severed from our Creator. But, does that mean that if we have come to Jesus, don't abide in Him, but choose our own way, we will be severed off from him? John 15:6 says "If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned."

Ouch, ouch.

Man, makes me want to hug my Vine.


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