The Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places. He will give strength to your bones, and you will be like a watered garden and spring of water whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
A few years ago, we had a gardener come to trim our bushes and trees because my wife and I were getting ready to sell our home and move. Our realtor recommended we do this to have better curb appeal to sell our home. We were gone most of the day when the gardener started trimming the shrubbery and cutting away dead branches from several of our trees. When we returned home after dark, we didn’t notice anything different until the next morning. As we awoke and looked out of our bedroom window, we couldn’t believe the change we saw. Where there were old and untrimmed bushes and dead branches hanging down from trees, there were now beautiful flowers, plants, and healthy limbs in view. All were covered up and hidden before the gardener did his work.
After breakfast, we both walked around the yard that morning, seeing more and more of what had been hidden. It was kind of embarrassing to us that we had waited so long to have all of this needed pruning done, but as they say, “Better late than never.” Now we do our own gardening regularly or have it done at our new home. As we learned, there is no good reason just to let things go; all this does is make things ugly when they were meant to look beautiful, alive, and thriving.
In a way, this whole pruning experience with our old and new homes is akin to what God, our master gardener, wants to do with our Christian lives daily. Instead of letting overgrown bushes and lifeless tree branches personify us, which are brought on by old selfish and sinful behaviors, God wants to regularly cut away those and throw them into the green trash bin. He does this for many reasons, one of which is for us always to see just how beautiful we are to Him without the presence of selfishness and sin. A beauty that is not only seen by Him but by others and us as well.
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
Therefore, the Spirit which was given to each of us the day we believed shows up every day to prune us to maintain this beauty God sees in us. All we need do on our end is to let the Spirit do His work, as He clips and cuts away at old sinful habits that should not be a part of our lives anymore. He does this first by helping us see what He sees, then encourages us to ask for His forgiveness when we have fallen short. In the midst of this, the Spirit is always moving us to pray regularly so that we can keep up with the various old sins that creep back into our lives. And finally, He urges us to read and meditate on the Scriptures as often as we can, so the ugliness of old sins can never replace the cleansing beauty God gave us at salvation. If we let things go in our Christian lives by letting happen whatever happens, as my wife and I did with those old overgrown bushes and unkempt trees, then we can quickly lose sight of the beauty of a cleansed life God gave us at salvation.
Give in to the Spirit, who shows up every day to prune away your old selfish tendencies and deep-rooted sinful habits. You won’t regret it, for pruning you toward a new character rooted in Christ is both needed and good!
Additional Scriptures References
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Galatians 5:16-17, 24-25 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.