Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 5:16-8:20
So yesterday I stood at the crossroads and then watched Deadliest Catch and made the realization that I simply couldn’t be happy in eternity knowing that I had chosen the easy road. Then today I picked a book up that I had set down a long time ago, Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson. I flipped it open to where I had left off and low and behold what is it on? Pruning! Wilkinson explains that there are two phases of pruning, the first phase focuses on priorities and activities where the second phase tends to focus on identity and beliefs. This second phase of pruning is more difficult to endure than the first phase because it prunes at the core of who you are and what you believe. I read about Wilkinson’s own experiences of pruning moments like these and realized that that’s been what this last year was all about! My identity has been questioned time and time and time again this year – mostly because I changed my name and it set everyone into an uproar, but also because God was using that to help me root myself deeper into Him and then later on to remind me how deeply rooted I am. My identity now completely exists in Him. Without God and my relationship with Him I would have NO clue who I am! I love that about myself, I am His child, His little princess, His baby girl, without that I have nothing. And it’s amazing to me looking back now, because I’m realizing that He first taught me who I am so that when the time of pruning my beliefs came along I would be able to lean on my identity to answer those questions of belief. For my entire life I’ve relied on my own abilities and knowledge of the workings of God and His kingdom to get me through the battles. I felt like as long as I knew the right scripture to speak back to the Enemy he’ll leave me alone. And while scripture is more powerful than many of us will ever truly understand, there have been moments when I have felt completely helpless to defend myself from the Enemy. There have been moments in this last year where I have felt the beating hooves of the donkey as it has trampled over the grain of my soul and then the violent tossing into the air in order to separate the chaff from my wheat. Sifting is a violent process, but it is extremely effective. And during those times I have come to realize that I have had NO power in the situation, none. I have not had the presence of mind to even remember I needed to speak scripture let alone remember any scripture itself! I have been completely in the hand of GOD. I have been at HIS mercy and under HIS control. I was in the potter’s hand and He was using a cutting tool on me to carve out a design of His choosing upon the tender clay of my spirit. The pruning I have undergone this year has not been a pruning where my flesh has been attacked, it has been my mind! I attempted reading Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind but simply haven’t been able to get through it. I’ve read enough to know that I agree with her that our minds are certainly a battlefield! But past that I honestly can’t remember any of it at the moment. Not that it wasn’t a good book, because it is! I just can’t remember any of it… because I was in the midst of the chaos of battle while I read it. I would like to add to the idea that our minds are not just a battlefield, but also a prison. I have learned that I think about things way too much instead of just giving them over to my Daddy and trusting Him to take care of them. He loves me and it is His JOY to take care of me, good care of me.
I got a movie for Easter that I’ve been really looking forward to watching, Annie. It has always been one of my favorites and last night I got to share it with my kids. I wasn’t sure that they would both sit and watch a non-animated movie or not but they did! And as I sat there simply enjoying sharing something I’ve always loved with my family when Annie walked into that gigantic mansion and started singing “I think I’m gonna like it here…” I began to silently weep. I wept because the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to what He was showing me, He is Daddy Warbucks and I am Annie. We begin life as orphans, parentless until we choose Jesus, and that’s when we move into the mansion with Daddy Warbucks. He has all the wealth in the world and we have none, when we live in Him all those things get added to our account too! When we live in His house we have access to all the things and people within His house. As the maids and housekeepers and butlers and gardeners and cooks sang in Annie, “Your wish is our command” I was reminded of the angels and their service to our Father. They live to serve Him by serving us. When we find our identity in Him we are like little orphan Annie who has just been plucked from servitude and abuse and plopped directly into the lap of luxury! Daddy has deep pockets, so not only does He have the ability to buy out the eight o’ clock show at Radio City Music Hall, He also has the desire; because He would love to sit and watch a movie with His precious child. YOU!