Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Prune the Suckers

Have you seen trees with little cute branches growing from the base of the trunk?

Those cute little shoots actually suck the life out of the tree not allowing the essential nutrients to reach the upper branches. The upper branches bear fruit. Suckers will never bear fruit. If allowed to continue to grow these suckers will eventually kill the tree. Suckers in a slow process will drain the strength and life from a tree.

For a tree to bear good fruit and much fruit, the suckers must be pruned away as soon as they sprout up. This is vital for a productive life.

Like trees, we have suckers sprout up in our lives. If not pruned out of our lives quickly, our strength and life will be sucked out of us. We won’t be able to accomplish the purpose God has for our lives as effectively.

After seventy years in captivity in Babylon, the Lord kept HIS promise and the Israelites started to return to their homeland. The first task to be accomplished was the rebuilding of the temple funded by Cyrus the king of Persia. As this task progressed, it faced some fierce opposition. The enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned of the plans to rebuild the house of God so they offered to help rebuild the temple. Yet the heads of the Israelites declined this offer. So the enemy changed their approach.

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. ~~ Ezra 4:4-5

The enemy—the suckers—determined to frustrate the plans of the Israelites. Intentional! Does the evil one do that to us? I think so. I personally experienced frustrated plans in my life this past week. I feel the call and purpose of God on my life. As I take each step toward the call, other things pop up that distract me. This past week I’ve dealt with these irritating situations. These distractions discouraged me for a week. The Israelites were discouraged for years.

Well what do we do when the enemy frustrates the plans of God’s servants? Sometimes we justify it by saying, “Oh well, it’s not God’s timing yet. I’ll just wait on the Lord.”

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' " ~~Haggai 1:2

Sometimes that may very well be true. Some instances do require waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing. Yet there are times we’re to move on something for it is God’s time. And waiting is no excuse not to make progress.

How do I know if it is God timing to move forward or not? Very good question! Let’s seek the Lord in prayer and in His word. If we seek the Lord, He’ll let us know if we are not walking in obedience. One way we will know is that we’re not content in our daily lives.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. ~~Haggai 1:5-8

We just can’t be satisfied if we’re not doing what the Lord calls us to do. Our lives are zapped of strength to move forward. We must recognize the sucker branches and cut them out of our lives. After hearing the word of the Lord spoke through Haggai, the people recognized the suckers. They then feared the Lord and resumed work on the temple.

As a believer in Christ, I must resume the work I’ve been called to do. While my computer was being repaired, I got caught up in watching the media’s bias view points on politics. Sucker branch. Though this upcoming election is important, I should not allow the media’s viewpoint to rule my day. I became sucked up in many other little things as well —movies, shopping, personality conflicts in the home, etc. My plans were frustrated. What do I do? Well the Lord spoke and I must resume the work He has called me to do. He’s promised:

"I am with you," declares the LORD.” ~~ Haggai 1:13

The Lord is with me. The Lord is with you. Let’s prune off the suckers and get to work with what HE has planned for us!

Engrafted by His Grace--

4 gracious comments:

Michelle V said...

What an awesome post! I have found that pruning can sometimes be difficult but that it's often easier if I do it than when He does!


Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Well you have inspired me, I made up an SRM - Stress Removal Methods - they can now be Sucker Removal Methods!! or we could croon and prune!

Thanks for checking on me! I am doing much better!!!

lisasmith said...

Good word! I, too, have decided to remove hindrances from my life. (I'm sure there are more.) I no longer turn on the tv before I go to bed because it gets my adrenaline pumped up and I can't sleep and then I can't get up! I must get up to do what God has called me to do! I get dressed at the gym because when I do it at home, I change clothes too many times on some days. I disconnected my home phone and don't answer my cell when I'm in my house working. Etc. These changes have been difficult at times but I love the growth I see as a result.
I love the post!

Cherdecor said...

This is a great post. What are you called to do? I wish I knew what I was called to do. Right now, I am just trying to walk in the spirit of God each day. I don't know, maybe that is all I am called to do. What do you think?