Sometimes when I sit and read the word of God it speaks so simply and I wonder how can the reader not understand? It’s so straight forward, the truth so obvious. This morning was one of those times.
I sat down to read John 14, taking a break from Acts. This weekend we had a special speaker, one of our missionaries. He spoke on John 15 and as he brought forth the truth my heart was deeply pricked. It wasn’t a new truth, but I heard the Father ask a simple question of my heart. “Do you love me? Do you love me enough to allow me to prune you? Do you love me enough to allow me to lift up those parts of your life that are lying in the mud? Do you love me enough to allow me to reattach those places that no longer bear fruit?” (John15:1-6)
These are not easy questions. They trouble my heart. I am troubled because I am aware that if I truly loved Him the answer would be a whole hearted, “yes!”. Instead I think of how tired I am, how discouraged I have been and I think to my self, “maybe the pain, the surrender, the dying to self isn’t worth it”.
The Spirit speaks to my spirit and reminds me, “You have a Helper. You are not alone. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)
I realize my thinking isn’t truth so I open the book of Truth and read John chapter 14.
This is Truth. Jesus is preparing a place for me with His Father. Jesus reminds me that He is THE way, THE truth and THE life and that no one comes to know the Father but through Him. (14:6) Jesus reminds me that if I truly believe in Him and the works that He does He will do even greater works in me and through me. All I need to do is ask in His name. And finally I am reminded that if I love Him I will keep His commandments. (14:15)
If I love Him? Of course I love Him! How could there even be a doubt in my mind?
“Do you love Me enough to allow Me to prune you?”
My heart is heavy and I see my sin, my weakness, my unwillingness to pay the cost of loving Him, of following Him.
I surrender. I confess. Again I am encouraged, by the words of Jesus. Through His word encouragement comes when He speaks to all and says that If you love Me not only will you keep my commandments but…
I will send a Helper to help you (14:16)
The Helper will abide with you and in you (14:17)
Jesus will not leave you (18)
Because He lives you live (19)
He is in His Father and you in Him and He is in you (20)
Jesus goes on to say that if we love Him we will -
Keep His commandments and will be loved by Him and the Father (21)
We will keep His word and the Father will love him (23)
We will come to Him and abide in Him (23)
Do I love Him? With great humility and honesty I must admit that at times my life and my thoughts testify against my love for Him. But I do love Him. I believe in Him, His words, His truth, His love for me. With all my life I choose to follow Him and count the cost, whatever it may be.
So yes, prune me, lift me up out of the mud, show me the areas of my life that have fallen from You. Teach me the things I still need to know, to see and to confess.
Oh Father I am forever in Your debt. These words that I have written seems so hollow in compared to all that I owe you. Help me. Remind me I am not alone in the pruning process. You have sent me Your Helper. He will teach me. He will remind me of all that You have said. Father help me to live a life that shows I love You. Help me to do exactly what You command me to do. Help me to live like Jesus. Amen.