In case you missed it, I mentioned thorns.
They are long, sharp and hidden. What thorns are you hiding amongst the beauty of who Christ created you to be? Hurt feelings that have become bitterness. Sharp word to defend our position. Selfishness that demeans friends and family. Superiority that is condescending. How many other thorns are there? Which ones do you hide under the foliage that enhances your flowers? When someone reaches towards your beauty do they bring back a bloody wound from the thorns you use to protect yourself?
I love plants and have a green thumb that I inherited both from my nturall father and my heavenly father. I understand John 15 where it says: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches ar picked up and thrown into the fire and burned, If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples....This is my command: Love each other."
This is one of the first chapters I memorized. I understand a plant never pruned gets all wild on its own. It is gangly—there are very few flowers, no fruit. I want the unproductive areas removed from my life, cut off burned up, gone. Do you? Realtionships that are not profitable. Are you willing to remove them from your life? Attitudes that make you less than Godly? Actions that cause others to stumble? Words that do not line up with His word? Thoughts that run amuk? How gangly is your life? If you are saved, He said you are already clean—are you staying that way? Are you memorizing the word? Are you living the word?
We had a mini-typhoon last week—probably my definition nothing official. Lots of wind and rain.
It blew most of the leaves and blossoms off my bougainvillea leaving all these gangly thorn covered shoots sticking out everywhere. Ugly is a pretty accurate term to describe it right now.
Nothing beautiful to look at—yet when I was walking I noticed that every place that the leaves were blown away have clusters of new leaves sprouting in their place. In a very short time it will be fuller, more beautiful than ever!
What storms are you going through? What is being removed from your life? At some point this needs to be a lifestyle. Look around do you see storms raging against someone else’s “tree planted by living water”? Are you praying for them? As intercessors are we so consumed with all our own “issues” that we are not praying for the ones the Lord brings us? Are we so busy “laying again the foundations” that we cannot get to the warfare we are called to do?
Recently I had 6 ministries ask for prayer in one day because they were under such a strong attack.
These attacks are taking a LOT of forms—physical, financial, spiritual, emotional. Maybe you have experienced the same things? Press in—get into attack mode. The fact that the onslaught is increasing tells me we should be doing the same. Did you see all those new shoots on those branches? The storms are done, the Son is out, the growth has begun.