Heavenly Father continue to teach us how to abide in Your presence. For in Your presence is the fullness of joy. You said that if we abide in You and remain in Your love it is that Your joy may remain in us, and that it may be full. Joy comes from abiding in You even when pruning happens–all for Your glory that we would bear much fruit. For we did not choose You, but You chose us and appointed us that we should go and bear fruit, and that our fruit should remain. Any branch that does not bear fruit and abide in You, You cut off and burn in the fire.
Your pruning is like that of a seasoned gardener. The gardener knows when to prune and what produces the choicest of fruits. He knows that a plant baring fruit too early will only steal from the strength of the plant, so he removes early buds. The gardener is patient for the plant must have time for the roots to go deep and the heart of the plant to be established–he is willing to wait for the greater fruit later in the season. The gardener is wise and protects, so he cuts off those branches that are dead, diseased and damaged–dead branches attract insects and invite disease to develop. The gardener takes great care and pleasure in tending to his garden because from it comes the true beauty and the choicest of fruits.
Your fire is like that of a forest fire that comes through and consumes all. However, very quickly after the fire, the ground springs forth with fresh new growth and fruit, baring even more vegetation than before. The fire causes seeds to come forth that were hidden, buried, and unable to be released until exposed to the fire. The fire burns up disease and the dead things of the forest making room for new life, fresh healthy life to come forth in a greater measure.
Both the pruning and the fire produce more life and fruit, so we give ourselves to the pruning and the fire–all for loves sake. It is in this very process, all done for love and out of love, to take us to the deeper places and levels of the Fathers love for His sons and daughters. As we learn to abide in His love, it will bring us into the fullness of joy!
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