Over the last intensive at Grace Fellowship, one of the lessons that has been bouncing around in my head came in passing from Aaron. He was restating something he had learned about Vintners pruning their grape vines to be thick and rooted correctly because, if they didn’t, the vines would break under the weight of their own fruit [check it out here]. The lesson is obvious: if God doesn’t allow us to root properly and prune us, we will break under the weight of our own fruit.
The lesson was affirmed last week in one of our worship leader huddles as we talked about Exodus 23:20-33. As God was, once again, giving the nation of Israel a confirmation of the land that was promised to them, He tells them that He will be with them. He talks about sending His fear before them, confusing the armies that stand against them, and sending hornets to clear out the land. Then verses 29-30: I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.
Trust often involves embracing the “hold on,” the “wait,” and “no.”
For the people of Israel, God’s mercy is shown through his withholding of the land that He has promised. His grace is revealed as He tells them to slow down so that they are not overwhelmed by the land which will eventually be theirs!
God has, on a number of occasions, told me to quit striving and trust in His timing as He prunes me to be able to bear fruit without breaking. Sometimes I continue to strive and my dreams become burdens. Sometimes I trust in God and simply wait. Sometimes I wait but not out of diligent faithfulness but because I have thrown in the towel or given up on myself [usually as a result of striving]. However, I am convicted that defeat isn’t the camp that God wants me to live in either.
Father, I want to trust you more and rest in your goodness. You will open doors as you see fit and you protect me from the enemy of myself. Let me embrace the seasons of pruning as I look forward to days of harvest and opportunity!