Tag Archives: relationship with God

I Am the Branch

For what feels like most of my life, I have had this struggle with my hair.  My desire is for it to grow long, but in the past several years, every beautician I have seen has recommended that I cut it.  There has been so much damage and mistreatment of my hair, the best option was to chop it off and regrow it.  I resisted because I did not understand how cutting it off would help it grow longer.  I did not want to let go, so I held on to my damaged hair which still refused to grow.

I am worthyOnce I was meditating on John 15 (“The Vine and the branches”), and I realized something:  God, the vine dresser, takes away the branches that do not bear fruit.  He prunes the branches that do, so that they may bear more fruit.  My habit was to use this verse as a plea for God to prune me so that I become a branch that does bear fruit.  But the very fact that He prunes me shows that I already bear fruit and He sees the potential in me for more. What an honor it is, for the vine dresser to prune me!

Our society so easily discards things we consider insufficient.  But Our Father is not like that.  He says, “I delight in you.  I see the fruit you bear.  That’s why I prune you.  Because you were made for so much more.”  Even if He sees one pathetically tiny piece of fruit barely hanging on from that branch that I am, He still delights in me.  He sees not that I have barely produced anything.  He only sees the capacity He has in me. It is not about my faults and failures because He declares that I am already clean because of the word which has spoken to me.  It’s not about me.  The star of the vine is the Vine: Jesus.  It’s about God, the vine dresser.  His desire to grow us, use us, and have us to Himself.  Though that love involves us, it isn’t about us.  Submitting to pruning is simply an act of receiving His great love for us.

vinedresserSo a couple of weeks ago, I sat in the stylist’s chair.  A year and a half ago, I argued with her about how I did NOT want my hair cut (even though she offered to simply trim it).  I said, reluctantly, I’m ready to cut it.  I watched the dry, split ends fall to my shoulders.  A part of me was dying inside.  At the end, my hair was more beautiful than I would’ve imagined it would be short.  And it looked so healthy.  I was grateful for putting trust in her.

How much more trust should I place in my God who knows what is and isn’t good for me?  What are you holding that may need to be let go, even if only for a season?  I challenge you to be open to pruning when the time comes.  Because the result is always worth it.


The Beauty of Intercession

It has been about two months since I have moved up here for my ministry training experience.  If someone were to ask me to sum up what it has been like, this is what I would say:

This is definitely an accelerated environment.  When you give yourself over to prayer and fasting for such long periods, things become clearer . . . Suddenly, it only takes a matter of days to weeks as opposed to taking months to years for me to realize some things:

  • I don’t love God as much as I thought I did.  Not that I didn’t love God; I just was not as wholeheartedly surrendered as much as I believed.  When He touched those un-surrendered areas and asked me to let go, I became aware of where I did not love Him.
  • Then, I realize that I’m not as together as I thought I was.  I am a broken, yet prideful mess.
  • Also, that really in myself, I can do nothing.  Even though I say “Apart from You, I can do nothing,” I still sometimes believe in my own dead works.  I still think I can cook it up.

Even my love for God.  But it takes God to love God, especially when things get hard and He has to do some major heart surgery.  Really, it’s like being locked in a padded room with Jesus as He holds up a mirror.  You have to look at all the hideous things in yourself that you don’t want to see.  But He shows us these things because He wants us to see how much more we need Him.

This is the beauty of intercession:

God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.  He has the power to do anything He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants.  But what He wants is to have relationship with us.

God could simply wave His hand and make all our problems go away.  He could simply blink His eyes and bring revival.  But He wants us to feel His heart.  He wants to share His burdens with us.  He wants us to partner with Him in the things He wants to do.

How loving is that?  He loves us so much that He wants to give us a role?  He yearns to have that relationship with us.  God, our Father, COVETS our love, affections, and attention.  We were created to commune with Him.  Created for Him by Him to be with Him.  Who are we that He would use us?  Our flesh wants us to believe that we did something to earn His affection.  Even by accepting Him into our hearts as Lord, that is a choice we cannot make without His grace.

I mean, really . . . take a deep breath . . . do it again . . . even the air that you breathe . . . even the lungs inside you that have the capacity to hold oxygen are by His grace.  Why?  Because He delights in you. He even delights in your breathing.  He delights in the voice your breath produces.  How can He not be inclined to move at the sound of His child’s voice?

It is that knowledge and revelation that enables your lips to utter “God is good” when your heart is being chopped into a million little pieces in order to be reassembled by His hands.  Jesus said, blessed are you when you are not offended by me.  When you are in touch with this love, you are not offended.  I admit that during this season, during this process, there were times I found myself offended.  But it was because there was more I had to learn about the Father’s love.