This post is part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge. Participants choose a category, in which to concentrate throughout the challenge and the host provides a daily writing prompt. My category is Devotional/Study and the prompt for today is PRUNE.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
I’m in the middle of a bible study about creating a sabbath margin (Breathe, LifeWay Press, 2014, Priscilla Shirer). So, pruning away those things that keep us too busy to see what is important or to experience the goodness of Gods gifts. It takes prayer and clear thinking to identify what needs to go and what needs to stay. I’ve been watching the Netflix show Tidying Up and have to admit that the KonMari method, demonstrated by Marie Kondo, helps one easily decide these things with all the stuff we manage to accumulate over time.
What about the other “stuff”. Kids activities, overtime at work, church ministry commitments, all the things we say yes to. Do you say yes out of obligation, unreasonable self-inflicted expectations of performance, or because of what others might think if you said no?
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. John 15:1-2
We need to prune away the excess to find what God has waiting for us to access. The good stuff. The dead weight, the no-longer-useful, the withered, it all has to go. Make time for a sabbath margin. The space between everyday life and a new life in Christ. That doesn’t happen without prayer and a willingness to let go, to say no.
Take a good look at what is keeping you so busy, too busy to get to know Jesus, and cut it loose. This is hard work but good work; a true benefit in the long run, but getting it done isn’t so easy. It takes the power of the Spirit in you and the sound mind God gave you, not emotions, to move forward in freedom. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself giving in to persistent invitations for shopping, lunch, a new bible study even. Think about why you want to say “Yes, I’ll be there.” Pray before the invitations come so you’ll be clear thinking when they do (and they will), only saying yes to what’s important, needed, and allows you to maintain that space God wants for you.
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. John 15:5
What can you say no to that will help create space for a deeper relationship with God?