Over the last several months God has been pruning my heart. Tearing down the walls I didn’t know that I had built up. Destroying walls I didn’t even know were around my heart and life. Reminding me of the fact that I need to continually be placing my focus on Him and not on the things of this world.
It is so easy to be carried away by the drama that goes on or to simply walk out the door without spending time with God first. It is so easy to build walls around your heart to protect yourself from having to change. It can be easy to live in the here and now and be so caught up in the now, that we forget about the future. It can be so easy to keep our eyes earth focused instead of heaven minded.
Can we just be real for a minute? Pruning is tough stuff! I mean who likes to be have all their “dirty laundry” aired out before the Lord and then have to deal with it? I definitely would not be one to raise my hand and say YES pick me. Nope! I’m good. I’ll stay just how I am thank you.
But really? Is that what we really want? As challenging as the pruning has been for my heart, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have learned so much through this whole process. I have always known that I couldn’t do it on my own but God has made that extremely clear these last few months.
The Biggest Reason Is…
The biggest reason that no one wants their hearts to be pruned is that is requires me to die to myself. It challenges me to get rid of all the junk that I have had in my heart. I have to allow God to have full and complete access to my heart. I have to give Him the ability to show me everything that I need to work on.
Oh it is so uncomfortable! The poking and pruning of my heart is unconformable for a season but in due time I will be able to reap a harvest of blessing. I have wanted to just quit and tell God that He had pruned quite enough in my life. But if I had then I wouldn’t be where I am today having grown in my faith.
Dying to yourself is giving God the ability to change every bit that He so desires in your life. It is such an uncomfortable season because you have no control over what He finds. You could choose to ignore the faults God is bringing to light but do you truly just want to have to deal with the issue again in another season of pruning?
Why Challenges Grow You The Most
Have you noticed how it’s the challenges in life that have grown you the most in your walk with Christ? The memories that I have or the dates written in the margins of my bible are the strongest when I have to rely upon Him for the strength to carry on through the challenges.
It’s the days when you know that you just need Him all the more. The times when you can’t seem to understand what He is doing and just simply need His reassurance that it will all be okay in time. When your prayer and cry to God is one of confusion instead of clarity.
We never know how long we will be in the pruning season or how long the challenges will last. The one thing that you can hold onto is that God is doing a work in your life and refining you through the process. He is taking the “ashes” in your life and exchanging them for His beauty.
What Diamonds Can Teach You About Refinement
When I was going through my season of pruning and refining, I studied a little bit about diamonds. Diamonds are just made out of carbon that when placed under intense pressure and extreme heat cause the diamond to form. But if you were just to find a diamond that hasn’t undergone pressure and heat, then it wouldn’t be a diamond at all. It would simply be an element formed out of carbon.
What stood out to me when I was studying the process of diamonds was how we only see them for the beauty they have after the refining process. We don’t think to give credit to the original form of the diamond or how it can only become a diamond through the process of refinement.
It really opened my eyes to see how we, as believers, need the refining process of pruning, spiritual warfare, and challenges to refine our faith in Christ. If we desire to be believers who are fruitful in their lives and in their ministry, then we need to allow God to refine and prune us so that we can be perfect and shaped to be more like Him.
I know that refinement is far from enjoyable but in the end it bring forth a fruit that never would have been there if we had not allowed God to have full access to our heart and to make us more like Him.
So, don’t give up in the middle of his pruning, even though you may be tempted to just give up. God knows exactly what He is doing! Sometimes He has to bring to light smaller issues in your life so that He can bring the real issue out. Don’t give up when the going gets tough but allow God to have His work in you so that you may be complete and lacking nothing in this season of refining and pruning.
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” –Hebrews 12:11