by Keily J. Denny ©2015
When “bad” things happen to you, do you blame them on the devil? Do you feel like you are being punished by God? Well there are times we find ourselves in demonic bondage and oppression and need to go into our “prayer closet” and do warfare. But, there are other times when God is rebuking us, correcting us or strengthening us in some way. So stop glorifying the devil by blaming everything on him. He’s not that powerful, trust me.
Look at what Paul says in Hebrews 12:5-10. “My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes those He accepts as His children. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Whoever heard of a child who has never been disciplined? If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children after all.
Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.”
Then there are times when God is putting you through the fire to purify and strengthen you. “For He will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes.” (Malachi 3:2) He’s the best and cheapest stain remover you can ever have around!
Jesus says: “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you — for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father!!” (John 15:1-10)
“You didn’t choose me, I chose you. I appointed you to go produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give whatever you ask for, using my name.” (John 15:16)
The definition of pruning is: to remove unnecessary or unwanted parts. Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning: 1. Cutting off, 2. Cutting back branches – Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. In other words, God must sometimes discipline us to strengthen our character and faith. Some children are hard headed; they don’t want to submit to authority figures and need to be harshly disciplined for their own good — they only learn the hard way – but they do learn.
But branches that don’t bear fruit are cut off at the trunk not only because they are worthless but also because they often infect the rest of the tree. People who don’t bear fruit for God or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers will be cut from His life-giving power. These are people who no matter what, they’re going to do it their way and you can’t tell them anything — they know it all. Deeply set in their ways and on a collision course to self-destruction, they cry about it after all the mayhem has manifested in their lives when it is too late. Then they blame it on the devil or even worse, God. The devil doesn’t have to do anything – he just sits back and laughs at them. Meanwhile, look at God — always ready to take them back with open arms without condemnation ready to love and forgive them whenever they are ready to come to Him.
Fruit is not limited to soul winning. Answered prayer, joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – these are all what is produced in our lives when we let the Holy Spirit control our lives. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, puffed up, judgmental, or irritate with one another, or be jealous of one another.
Many people try to be good, honest people who do what is right. But Jesus says that the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to Him, like a branch attached to a vine. Don’t miss out on special gifts He has for you.
It is not easy. When we fall short (which we will), we must repent and ask God for the strength and wisdom to hear His voice and do what is pleasing in His sight. We cannot do it in our own strength. But we can do it through Christ, who strengthens us. Can I get an “Amen”?
More about the wonderful Keily:
Keily J. Denny takes you on an exciting and insightful journey as a prophetic mouthpiece for God. Healing is the children’s bread and she spoon feeds it through magazine articles, scripts for movies and plays, poetry, books, greeting cards, skits, song lyrics and social media. Be on the lookout for her latest book, “Snippets of Wisdom” coming soon to an e-book platform and/or a bookstore nearest you. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband of 25 years, Jerome Denny.