Great Receivers Get Pruned

It’s Good to be at the End of Your Rope

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

Matt. 5:3 (The Message)

God is sovereign. No sincere Christian debates that significant biblical truth (Dan. 7:14). However, it is difficult for us to believe that God is actively working through people and circumstances to deal with our selfishness and pride. Day-by-day, moment-by-moment, our Heavenly Father is cutting away those aspects of our lives which are inconsistent with Christlike character.

The Lord wants us to be great receivers. Therefore, he cuts away our self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, and self-absorption. He wants us to give up our striving and struggling. He wants you and I to give up and depend on the Holy Spirit.

The pruning work of our heavenly vinedresser is not an instantaneous process, but a gradual on-going work of God (John 15:2). Patience is required. Patience is an enabling of the Spirit to take trouble from life and wait till God, the heavenly vinedresser, works his perfect pruning process in our lives (Gal. 5:22). We are able to wait for we know that our Lord loves us and is working Christlikeness into our lives. We rejoice for Christlikeness is our heart’s desire (Rom. 8:18).

We can be patient in our circumstances because we know that God is up to something good in our delays, detours, and unexpected disappointments.

[God’s] grace purposes to expose and free you from your bondage to you. His grace is meant to bring you to the end of yourself so that you willing finally begin to place your identity, your meaning and purpose, and your inner sense of well-being in him.

So he places you in a comprehensive relationship with another flawed person, and he places that relationship right in the middle of a very broken world. To add to this, he designs circumstances for you that you would have never designed for yourself. All this is meant to bring you to the end of yourself, because that is where true righteousness begins.

He wants you to give up. He wants you to abandon your dream. He wants you to face the futility of trying to manipulate the other person into your service. He knows there is no life to be found in these things.

Paul Tripp, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, p. 51-52.

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