By Cathy Deaton
According to the Bible, God disciplines His children to try to get them to come back to Him. He wants every child to produce an abundant amount of fruit so that a maximum yield can be obtained.
He disciplines because of His great love. It is never just to make you pay for bad things or make you think that you are so unworthy you could never hope to receive any of His Blessings.
In Part 1, we saw how the vinedresser carefully picks up the vine that has fallen, washes and cleans it, and places it so that it can attach itself to the trellis. All this is done with much care.
If you can think of discipline from God in this way, it will be much easier to get rid of sin that is weighing you down. Your main goal should be to do whatever it takes to have a healthy connection to the vine.
When you are in the pruning stage, God desires you to get rid of things that will keep you from producing the maximum amount of fruit. Some of these may be good, but they just do not fit in with His plans for your maximum yield.
Neither stage is easy, because they both seem painful at the time.
It will be a much easier transition if you can keep in mind that God wants to either discipline or prune you for your own good. He always looks at things from the point-of-view of the vinedresser.
He can also see the wonderful plans He has for your life, and He wants to bring them to pass. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are His child.
Any parent who truly loves their child wants the very best for them; they also know that everything he may want to do is not good for him in the long run. A child does not have the maturity to see things that might destroy them; they can only see the present and the fact that what they desire to do looks good for now.
In order to discern the difference between discipline and pruning, all you really have to do is ask God to show you truth in the matter. Pray hard that He will show you any area of sin in your life.
The one thing you must do, though, is truly desire to know the truth so that you can turn and go a different direction. Ask for wisdom to know if it is discipline or pruning, and go forward from there.
If you have prayed seeking the truth, you are not being disciplined if God does not reveal areas where you need to change. Then proceed from there and realize that you are being pruned because God loves you so much that He wants you to receive His Best.
He has so many wonderful things in store, and wants to make sure that you bear an abundance of fruit so that you can be used for His Glory.
If you can think in this way, you will understand that when the pruning time is over, you will come out a stronger and more victorious Christian.
How awesome to know that God will be able to use you in whatever way He chooses for the future!
Cathy Deaton is the author of Handbook for Victorious Christian Living, a book of sound, practical teaching for the Christian who is truly seeking God and wants to live in victory in every area of their life.
God has done remarkable things in her life and she has found that He is truly a God of wonder and amazement, and wants to bless His children in more ways than they could ever imagine.
Check out her blog at http://who-god-is.com
Her site Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living takes passages of the Bible and gives the meaning of key words in the Greek or Hebrew. The articles are short and can be printed out easily for study during free time, or be read online in about 5 minutes.