Pruning Often Follows the Prophetic

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Beloved Master Gardener, You prune us to be fruitful for You. Thank You, Father God for Your perfect care and constant loving kindness

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2012     www.holyspiritpress.org      www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

God knows the plans He has for us and sometimes He gives us whispers, partial knowledge or vision of what these plans are through what is known as the “prophetic”.  The prophetic is supernatural for it comes from God through the power of His Holy Spirit and speaks of what is to be, but is not yet.  The prophetic is very different from seeking to know the future through alternative sources such as fortune telling, astrology or other forms of divination, which strictly are forbidden by God.

The reason the Lord forbids seeking information in any other way but through Himself is simple.  By definition, God is Supreme.  He is the Source of all knowledge, wisdom, power – all things.  Only He is Truth.  As God and Lord, He is to be respected as the only viable Source. We are to go to no other power within or outside ourselves to seek knowledge.  If we do, it dishonors God and puts us off God’s path outside His will, for who or what we have chosen to follow is not Him.  Our actions have elevated other sources above Him.  In so doing, we have chosen to remove ourselves from under His leadership and put ourselves outside the boundaries of His kingdom.  As a result, we are no longer under His covering of promised protection and provision.  When we say, we believe in God, the Lord requires an authenticity in our actions which confirms what we say we believe. We are to seek God alone.

God’s purpose in revealing to us a sense of our future through the prophetic is manifold. Frequently this information is provided in order to encourage us to keep going during the difficult times which often occur between the release of the prophetic word and its fulfillment.  Additionally, having an idea of our direction, also helps us to recognize when God puts His next steps before us and gives us the courage to step forward into them!

When a prophetic word is spoken or the Lord gives a vision or whisper of what is to come, often it feels like water flowing into dry land.  Suddenly we are refreshed, for that which has been revealed touches us on a deep, intimate, personal level. This is because what God has planned for each individual is that for which He created us.  When we are doing that for which He created us, we are fulfilled completely!  Thus the prophetic affirms God sees us and knows us, and it awakens a longing deep within for that which He foreknew as His plan.  We know we want what is coming.  We become excited.  We wait expectantly.  We declare, “We are ready, Lord!”

However, the prophetic cannot be walked out without simultaneous, ongoing seeking of holiness.  To seek holiness is not to seek perfection, but to dedicate our lives fully to God (which by default requires an ongoing inner process of transformation more and more into His way of living and outlook).  Without a life consiciously, minute by minute consecrated to Him (devoted to Him and His way), He cannot grant fulfillment of the prophetic.  It will not honor Him and it will destroy us.

Remember everything God does is about the Great Commission.  He is the loving Father and devoted Bridegroom who wants as many of us as will choose Him, with Him for eterntiy!  Everything God does is about greater revelation of Himself to others, so more and more can have opportunity to make that choice.

We are God’s instruments, the tools and vessels through which He reveals the invisible reality of who He is.  Thus, our prophetic destiny is not all about us, but about the Lord putting us in position so more can come know Him for who He is.

So long as we are seeking fulfillment of our prophetic destiny for our own sake, our Lord cannot allow that which has been prophesied to come into the fullness of what He intends.  It would not accomplish His purposes.  In fact, it would accomplish the opposite.

Not only would He not be revealed through it, but to allow us to think we have “attained” that which He has promised, instead of rejoicing in our service to Him no matter the result for us, is not to have our best interest at heart.  He loves us too much for this!

To allow the prophetic to be fulfilled before we have made His purposes our own, is for Him to allow us to live for human success and He knows there is no lasting joy or peace to be found on that path.  He created us to be His bride – lovers sold out to only Him – walking out lives which serve eternal good purposes, not chasing success which is deceptive because it is both empty and fleeting.

Our Lord loves us and created us for more, so as Master Gardener, frequently once we receive His vision for our future, we enter a season of winter and pruning where all seems to have died and we wonder if we heard the Lord accurately about our future at all.  The storms we encounter can be violent.  God uses these to soften the soil of our hearts for the His plowing which will enable the new planting.  He uses these to build our spiritual muscle that we will be stronger in Him and by Him.  We will not get through these storms without a greater understanding of His Truth.  And so in the storms we have a tendency to seek to know the Lord more.  The result is that we find the foundation of Christ beneath us, growing more and more firm.  He is our Rock!

As we begin to stretch and grow into His plans, the Master Gardener loves our enthusiasm and heart for the work and yet, He sees where we still are not growing right and so with great love He prunes us, cutting away that which cannot grow as part of His Vine (Jesus), so we can be even more fuitful.  What joy! Thank You, Lord that You prune us, for we all want to bear more fruit for our King!

While the idea of Him lovingly pruning us to produce more greatly for His harvest initially paints a beautiful pastoral scene, the reality is harder to endure.  When we consider the season and process of pruning with which we are familier in the visible, natural realm, it gives us a picture of how God prunes in the supernatural, spiritual realm.

When a vine or fruit tree is pruned, pieces of it are severely cut off.  It is reduced in size.  It is shaped, not according to its own will, but as the Gardener decides is best.  As human beings to have pieces of our inner selves cut off can’t feel good!

Most pruning also occurs in winter before signs of spring. Therefore already with the appearance of life gone, the vines and fruit trees are further reduced in size by pruning, humbled as it were to look even more insignificant and vulenrable.

Hmmm….this is what God does in our lives as well….and it is good.  For despite the outward appearance in winter (perhaps especially in winter) and after pruning life continues.  Death is not the end result. Spring is!

Growth begins anew beneath the surface, and in the better, more fruitful and right direction according to the Gardener’s touch.  Out of the pain of pruning, grow new, healthier branches attached to the Vine which indeed will bear His fruit.

There is nothing better than to be used by Him for His purposes.  Nothing!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:1-5 NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control…  (Gal. 5:22-23 NIV)

Selah! [Pause & calmly think of that!]

Lord, do not fulfill our prophetic destinies for our own sake, but for Yours.  Help us to embrace whatever pruning comes, trusting in You through it and seeking what You would like to teach us through it. Gives us ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to embrace, that which You would have us learn.  Lord, we do bow down and give You our lives.  We do commit our hearts and all that we are to You for Your purposes for Your glory.  Have Your way, Lord. Have Your way.  Our trust and hope are entirely in You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

END

  
Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc. 
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.  (A current outreach is The Japan GRIEF Project.)  For information email info@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.  Thank you for your prayers and support!

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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