I’ve seen a man slice open a woman’s neck with a knife, while she was asleep. I saw her trachea (windpipe) as she lay down there bleeding profusely, and everything. And ….she survived it!
In fact, she knew it was going to happen and actually paid the man to do it. She even later thanked the man when she woke up! Of course, she had been suffering from a large swelling on her neck called a goiter which disfigured her neck and pressed on her windpipe, and the man was the surgeon who removed that swelling under anesthesia.
Aha. The first paragraph was somewhat shocking right? But the second paragraph showed that what looked like murder, was actually therapy. Treatment. He was helping her, and maybe, saving her because some of those neck lumps could be cancerous.
There are swellings in our lives sometimes, very big lumps attached to us. Spiritual hernias that are habits which prevent us from doing God’s work. Character goitres of unforgiveness pressing on our spiritual windpipes where we breathe in inspiration and breathe out fatigue and exhaustion. Fellowship fibroids of pride pressing on our spiritual wombs and making us unfruitful by stifling the ministries and giftings God has given us to birth on the face of the earth.
The Bible calls them WEIGHTS.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight…
And it is not easy to lay aside weights. They are not always like backpacks or handbags. No. They are like obesity. They are things attached to us and things we have accepted as part of us, and now refuse to do without. Habits, thoughts, decisions, choices, friendships, relationships, even jobs and church-related activities. Yet, they have disfigured our spiritual lives and fellowship with God.
Know it today that if God loves you and you receive His love. He will PRUNE you.
And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
PRUNE: transitive verb
(a) reduce especially by eliminating SUPERFLUOUS MATTER
(b) TO CUT off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth
Superfluous means “unnecessary extra”. In other words, to prune is to CUT OFF WEIGHTS.
Not every encounter with the Great Physician will be gentle counselling with a still small voice. Not every session with the Comforter will be soothing bed rest, massage therapy and vitamins. Sometimes when you present your body to Him, get ready to meet the Chief Surgeon who tie you down, knock you out cold, and cut you open; and even cut your neck open even with the Sword of His Mouth – His word to work deep down in you.
And this is love.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
He will beat you black and blue and take away that weight from you. If a surgeon who doesn’t love you can cut you to remove a physical weight causing physical problems or even just some embarrassment; how much more will your Father deal with you squarely when a weight is dragging you down to hell.
You will be dealt with severely.
And you will wear the plaster of humility for a while and bear the scar forever.
When others are struggling with their Christian lives, you will sit up.
When others are full of excuses, you will pant after God.
When others are talking, you will find yourself listening.
When others are boasting, you will be thanking God and praising Him.
When others are saying “How dare you talk to me like that?”, you will be saying “Thank you.”
When others are getting offended, you will have already forgotten that you were wronged.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
And when others are fretting and anxious, those who have experience the discipline of the Lord are full of peace and calm.
In fact, for you to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil; you must have felt the comfort of His ROD and staff.
This is what the scholars call “Agape.”
So if you are called by God; may you experience the fullness of His LOVE!