Pass The Pruning Shears Please

I recently found myself in a process of needing more pruning,
There was an ugly part of my flesh that reared up and it took me by surprise.
It was something that I didn’t know resided within me. When it showed up like an uninvited and most unwelcome guest I knew I needed to figure out where it came from, then work on being free from it. I struggled to determine if it was coming from an internal place – my soul, or from an external place – an attack of the enemy.
What I soon realized is that it didn’t matter where it came from. It didn’t matter if it was always there or if it was something that just cropped up, what mattered was that it WAS!
I didn’t like it and needed God to bring deliverance in my life to overcome it. I also realized when the enemy comes to try you, he only comes for what he knows is in you. Jesus said: the prince of this world was coming, but he had nothing in Him. There was no sin hook in Jesus for Satan to latch on too. If this thing was not in me, the enemy would not have tried me with it. There had to have been a hook of some sort for it try and attach itself too. Having recognized this, I found myself once again running to the alter, falling on the throne of grace.

What was this ugly thing you ask? Sadly I must confess it was envy and it was not my friend! The Bible is very clear on envy being a work of the flesh and left to work it can cost you far more than you are wiling to pay. Envy when left unchecked will eat away at a person like a ravaging cancer, causing strife, bitterness and all other works of evilness. I have seen envy separate marriages, ruin the best of friends, cause church splits and divide families.

Anyone who really knows me, knows I have never had a problem being happy for other people. I will celebrate you to the fullest. I will help you in any capacity that I can. I love seeing people being blessed, uplifted and encouraged. I love to see and hear the praise reports of people who have gone through hell and back come out, and not just come out, but come out stronger, wiser, freer than they have ever been before.

When envy came in whenever I heard about someone getting that breakthrough, getting that manifestation of the miracle they so desperately needed, getting that whatever it was they had been believing God for come to pass, something would happen. Despite my joy and happiness for them, I would find myself wondering why it was that my turn hadn’t come yet. Why was it that I could offer words of encouragement and Words from the Father to others and see them come to pass. How was it that I could pray for others and see God respond, but yet here I am still in the waiting, my prayers still seemingly hanging in the balance not being answered. I found myself being envious that God had moved for them, even when I knew what they have been through and what it took to get to where they are at now. How stinkin’ ugly is THAT?

It was almost like going to a elegant affair and being dressed to the nines. You look in the mirror and think wow, is that really me? Your dress is gorgeous, your hair is perfectly coiffed, your jewelry glitters like the sun, and you have the perfect matching shoes and handbag. As you enter the room all eyes are on you, you think I’ve finally hit my stride, that is until some kind old gentleman taps you on the shoulder and says excuse me miss, but your dress is tucked in your pantyhose. EEEEEEEEEEEEK, back to the potters wheel I go.

After spending much time with the Father, I’ve relearned that we must never take our eyes off of Him. We can never measure our time and seasons against another’s, we must stay focused on Him alone.
When we begin to look at our circumstances and comparing our situations to others it opens the door for frustration, doubt and weariness to come in and when any of those things come in envy will come in with them.
I saw where I had become weary in the waiting and as the weariness began to have its way, my faith began to deflate. Have you every baked a cake from scratch? When baking a cake it is imperative to not over check it. Too much opening and closing the door, to much testing for doneness will cause the cake to fall.
I saw where I was constantly testing to see if my trial was done, constantly checking to see if we were rising. I had began to compare my cake to others, wow they’ve only been in the oven 15 minutes and their cake is tall enough to make 3 layers, while I’ve been in here 40 minutes and am barely able to make a cupcake. I know, it sounds funny, well more like CRAZY when you think about doesn’t it? Can I just say God is not done with me yet? I’m clearly still a cake in progress.

Are you like me today? Have you found yourself feeling weary and like your time is still far away? Remember God gives strength to the weary, and power to the weak… but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Keep running, keep pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The race is not given to the swift but to he that endures to the end, can you endure to the end?

Proverbs 14:30 (New International Version)
Job 5:2 (New International Version)
Mark 7:20
1 Corinthians 13:4
James 3: 14-16
2 Thessalonians 3:13
1 Peter 2:1
Isaiah 40:27-31

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