by Pastor Tim Burt
Hi Fresh Manna Readers, I am on a short few days vacation this week so I am re-posting a popular devotion from the past! I pray it will bless you!
Change happens! People desire it and are afraid of it at the same time. People want to change jobs they don’t like or career paths they feel are a dead end. People want to change haircuts they’re tired of. People buy clothes they don’t need simply because they like a change. People love to try a new restaurant just for something new. People get tired of their home décor and remodel. Friends change as seasons of life change - single friends, married friends, friends with children, church friends, activity friends and more. One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the inability to make a change and have confidence that the experience will come out alright or better than before the change. What people most often don’t like is when change just happens to them and it seems beyond their control!
If we seek God for godly change and pray things like, “Lord, I want to draw closer to you and be more like you,” which are good things to pray, then we better understand that we’ve asked Him to work change in our life. There are two kinds of change the Lord works in our life in answer to those prayers. One is that He wants to help us rid our life of things that are harmful, aren’t profitable, or have no value. The other is that He prunes what is good so that it bears even more fruit in our life. John 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
When Renee and I moved into our present house, it was a gift from God. Our house is on a creek and it feels very private. I love to garden but felt limited when we first moved in because the border of my back yard was a think forest. It hid most of the creek and created so much shade, it limited what I could plant and grow. I would have loved to thin out a few trees, but for had no way to do that.
Some years back, I had a regular routine of running 5 miles around our neighborhood and always prayed over the neighborhood when I ran. One day, a storm came through that took out over 10,000 trees in our community. It wiped out a number of them along our creek and back area. It seemed like a disaster and was considered that. The city over time came and cleaned out those trees. When those trees were lost, it left a perfect number of trees that allowed us to see the creek, get sunlight, and for me to expand our garden. The entire community seemed prettier once it was all cleaned up. Then the city decided that the area behind our house on the other side of the creek which had lost all its trees would make a great place to put in a walking path and wildflower garden. It had previously been used as a place where people dumped any and everything. They bouldered our creek with large boulders. They put in a beautiful wildflower garden with walking paths and ornate streetlight type lamps. And I finally had the sunlight I needed to built the garden I wanted.
When God prunes our life, it’s to get rid of the unwanted and to bring more fruit and even a better result to what is good. This has happened in my life over and over again. What I started out complaining over, manifested in the big picture as an absolute blessing. If only we could trust God when change that is outside of our control is happening. If we would pray in faith, knowing that God intimately cares about the details of our life and is our Heavenly Father – the very best Father we will ever experience, then we would trust Him through every difficult change. When we go through the change, instead of being anxious, we need to lift our heart and tell the Lord, “Lord, I am not sure of how you are working this out, but I do know that I love you and you love me. I trust you to purge my life and bring more fruit. I know you want the best for me and I trust you with my life. You gave me your very best when you gave me Jesus. I trust you with all the less significant areas of my life. Thank you for your help and love. In Jesus name.”
Whether it’s the job, friends, your home, or whatever, when change is forging in your life, bind the enemy in your prayers and turn the circumstances over to the Lord asking and then truly believing He will bring change that will bear great fruit and bless you! He is good and wants what is best for you! Matthew 7:11 “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.”
P.S. This is my garden today!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt