God: Genie or Divine Gardener?

By Dave Henning / April 23, 2014

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. . . . By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”- John 15: 5, 8

In Chapter 7 (“Wounding Hurts: Doing the Right Thing Can Be Painful to the Wounder”) of Wounded by God’s People, author Anne Graham Lotz notes that sometimes we tend to view God as a genie.  We think all we have to do is rub Him in the right way through prayer and faith.  Then He’ll pop up and give us our heart’s desires.

But God’s purpose for our lives is not to bestow us with health, happiness, prosperity, or smooth sailing.  God’s ultimate purpose is to conform us to the image of Christ, thus enabling us to bear much fruit for His glory.  Sometimes that involves pruning by the Divine Gardener, who may cut everything out of our lives except our relationship with Jesus.  In the process, Anne states:

“He strengthens our connection to the Vine, softens our hearts, and delights in our growth as our lives produce a great harvest of spiritual fruit.”

It is through the wounding Jesus suffered for us that we are cleansed, forgiven, and healed.

Today’s question: How have you responded to the wounds of divine pruning?  How might embracing your wounding rather than fighting it enable you to bear much fruit?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “For those tears I died”

About the author

Dave Henning

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