Snip, snip

pruningLast night as I was praying, meditating and trying to keep my attention in check, I was having a lot of trouble. Thoughts went here, there and everywhere except where I wanted them to go.

People, places, things, events, situations, issues all interrupted. Spiritual, physical, political – if it had been on the internet, on the television news, in the newspaper, in conversations with family and friends, emails, no matter where, they all crowded in. Sometimes in gangs! Like impish brats they demanded attention, sometimes loudly, sometimes sneakily. Psst!

Suddenly I realized what was happening. I recognized the work of the enemy and began to demand his distracting minions to get out of my presence. As I started praising the Lord and thanking him instead of being distracted by all that intrusive negative stuff, they left (whining as they went). It was almost funny.

That wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened when I prayed, of course. Daytime or night time, controlling my thoughts in prayer sometimes becomes a skirmish, even a battle. I’m usually quicker to recognize the enemy’s tactics.

When my focus was finally back to the conversation I’d been attempting to have with the Lord, he said to me plainly – with a bit of humor – “Snip, snip.”

I knew what that meant. John 15:1-2. “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit].” (Amplified Bible)

The Holy Spirit is doing some pruning. In me, in my local church, and in the body of Christ as a whole.

He’s shaking off debris, pulling away viny weeds, straightening out tangled branches, cutting off deadwood and snipping away unproductive tendrils.

At times we need to put off some things ourselves, although we may be a little slow in getting that done. Other times we need to let him prune off some things. It doesn’t always feel like fun, but it’s always necessary.

The “distractor in chief” didn’t want me to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice last night so he threw in lots of other subjects to misdirect my attention. He didn’t succeed, though. I’m coming to grips today with what is going on in the spirit world. Shaking. Rearranging. Pruning.

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