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Sunday, February 26, 2017

You Cannot Expect To Have An Enjoyable Marriage That Has No Joy! If Only We’d Stop Inviting And Involving Jesus In The Wedding. And Start Inviting & Involving Jesus In The Marriage.


A love triangle is usually a prescription for broken hearts unless you have the kind of love triangle that keeps hearts from being broken.

Now, there's a formula in Ecclesiastes 4. It's a formula for lasting bonds between people. You could very well call it the arithmetic of love. Here's what it says beginning at verse 9, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. If two lie down together they will keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (TLB)

That passage is a powerful statement about relationships, especially if you apply it to the ultimate relationship of marriage. It says two work together better than one, two walk together better than one, two stand together better than one, and then suddenly the number changes. Suddenly it's talking about three strands. Wait…I thought we were talking about two…

So enters the love triangle: a husband, a wife, and a Savior. That's the kind of love triangle that avoids broken hearts. Ephesians 5:21 alludes to it when it says; speaking to husbands and wives, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (NIV). It's the Jesus factor in a marriage that always makes the difference. Now, the triangle is the strongest geometric figure there is, and a love triangle with Christ at the top is virtually indestructible!

In other words, you've got the man and woman joined together by that line along the bottom, but they both have a line going up to Jesus at the top. That bond between the man and the woman will fray sometimes. There's interference, there's disappointment, there's disillusionment, there's hurt. But if both the man and woman are connected to Christ at the top of the triangle, that bond will hold them together when the bond of human compatibility is unraveling.

The problem with many of us as spouses is, we don’t always keep Christ at the top of the triangle. Often we fight to be in the top slot that we push Him down, or take Him out of the equation altogether. But the only way for the love triangle with Jesus to work effectively, is to always be certain that He maintains His top priority position. While we’re fighting to be heard, fighting to be right, fighting to prove the other wrong, fighting to get the upper-hand, we undermine His hand on our Covenant.

Which makes you wonder: As soon as we think divorce is the answer, isn’t it amazing when you share that theory with others, most will always ask, “have you prayed about it first?” Why do they ask that? Well, genius, you can’t call yourself a Christian then make a decision to Crucify your Covenant, and think people aren’t going to ask if you consulted Christ! Even other people are under the impression that you have Christ in your marriage! And so they ask the obvious question of “have you prayed about it first?” And more often than not, we haven’t, we just want a quick fix for what we’ve allowed to slowly break down over the years. We want Jesus, in the beginning, to bless our covenant, but as soon as conflict and crisis hits along the journey, we pull the marriage over, kick Jesus out from behind the wheel, and then drive our marriages right over the cliff! After all, how can you possibly think you can reach your marital destination without the only One who has the directions? And remember, we kicked Him out! But when you take over the Wheel, you lose your Way from His Will!

So, the question is, "How much is Jesus Christ a real Person and Presence in your marriage?" Do you pray together about real life issues as if Jesus is right there with you? "Lord, we've got to talk to You about this together."

In fact, when was the last time you prayed With your spouse? And not for houses, cars, land, business, ministry, money, promotion, elevation, or personal gain. But prayed With your spouse: “Lord, teach us to be loving, faithful, supportive, encouraging, kind, generous, patient, forgiving. Teach us to acknowledge one another’s strength’s and be patient and understanding in one another’s weaknesses. Teach us to be a better man and woman; better husband and wife; better father and mother; better son and daughter; better disciples; better believers, better friends, better spouses, better lovers, better teammates. Teach us to walk by faith and not by sight. Teach us to trust You when our finances or health is failing. Teach us to be Your mirror to the world of what unconditional love really looks like.” When is the last time you prayed With your spouse, not for personal gain, but for personal growth?

Do you often ask together, "What would Jesus do?" Are you cultivating the habit of sharing what Christ has said to you from His Word that day with each other? Are you at church together? Do you sit together? Do you labor in ministry together? Do you get on your knees together and fight for your family and children?

And though most ‘super-saved Christian’s’ may call it ‘carnal’, but do you also laugh together, watch television together, travel together, go to the movies, out to dinner, go shopping, do you still date and court your spouse? Do you call and text your spouse as much as you do everybody else? Are you in your spouses’ face more than you’re on Facebook? Do you share as many pictures with your spouse as you do with Instagram? Do you text your spouse as much as you tweet? Do you send flowers? Do you enjoy engaging conversation from talking about Jesus, to the weather, to the government, to what you ate for lunch? Do you take walks? Do you still share dreams, or have you become each other’s nightmares? Do you sit down to dinner, in your own home, at your own dinner table, without the intruding guest of your cellphone, internet or social media? 

Do you go for a long drive? Picnic in the park? Weekend get-a-ways to absolutely no-where in particular? Have you planned your vacation? I know, sounds ‘carnal’ to some, but for those who know that it takes your body, soul and spirit to make a marriage work, you get it!

We don’t spend all of our time in church, in the Word or in prayer! Those things are wonderful, those things are needful, especially when they’re done as couples, however, going to the beach together won’t send you to hell either!
If you’re finding it difficult to laugh with your spouse over something silly, then something is wrong!

Even Jesus, slept, ate, prayed, wept…in other words, Jesus expressed His natural as well as His spiritual. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with you doing the very same thing! As a couple you can preach the walls of Jericho down, but when you’re done, go to Olive Garden and eat some pasta! Are you getting this?!

You Cannot Expect To Have An Enjoyable Marriage That Has No Joy!

Maybe the marriage is rotting because you’ve both stopped eating the fruit of the Spirit! Imagine if you digested daily more love for your spouse, more joy and peace with your spouse, more forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness towards your spouse, and more self-control to keep yourself only for your spouse, you’d see a tremendous difference take place in your marriage. That’s the beauty of having Jesus not only in your marriage, or a part of your marriage, but having Him (His Spirit) as Head Over your marriage! Then, even on bad days, you could still be good to your spouse!

So, are you attempting to make marriage work with just the two of you, or have you considered a love triangle with Jesus? After all, who better to have in the midst of your marriage, and even in the midst of its’ problems than Jesus? Jesus saves, heals, delivers, forgives, understands, is patient, kind, loving, and generous. Who better to teach a couple such characteristics but the One who has exemplified such characteristics with the Godhead? Isn’t it amazing how they work together? And as a believer, you have the opportunity and privilege to invite them into your marriage to show you how to work together just like them.

I’ve always said it, and always will, most often the issue in marriage isn’t ‘we’ve grown apart’, the issue is ‘we haven’t grown up.’ Marriage takes maturity. It takes two people that will stop screaming ‘mine’ and start screaming ‘ours’. It takes two people that will stop trying to have their own way, and instead go in the way of God. It takes two people who learn to talk to each other and with each other not against each other and at each other. It takes two people who learn to attentively listen, even when they have so much they want to say.

Love triangles with people will destroy your marriage, but one with the Godhead ensures that it’s indestructible! Which will choose today?

The good news? You don’t have to do it alone! If Only We’d Stop Inviting And Involving Jesus In The Wedding Only…And Start Inviting And Involving Jesus In The Marriage Always!

Before you get married, wait for someone who is joined to Jesus as you are, because it is worth the wait. And after you marry, practice His presence daily in your home. A love triangle with Jesus as that real third person is the strongest bond on earth!

I pray this devotional will encourage every Covenant Couple in Christ to maintain their Connection and Commitment to the Awesome Call of Marriage!

“Fight less, cuddle more. Demand less, serve more. Text less, talk more. criticize less, compliment more. Stress less, laugh more. Worry less, pray more. With each new day, find new ways to love each other even more.” (Dave Willis)

“Your spouse should never have to face any struggle without your full partnership, encouragement, and support.” (Dave Willis)

“Lifelong love isn’t the result of Compatibility. It’s the result of Commitment.” It's a covenant to be kept. (Dave Willis)

Blessings
J.P. Olson
www.thewordwithjpolson.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today I Find Myself Coming To You Again To Share This: Because God Said So

Today I find myself sharing with you once again prophetic words God placed in my heart in November 2016. During the time I shared the word I was on my way to Israel. It is something strange about this because I find myself leaving once again to Israel on Monday
Feb. 27, 2017 and God has placed in my heart to share this word again at such a time as this. A trip that God ordained, opened a door and allowed me to go back so soon. But as I am planning God placed on my heart to share this word . I have many new subscribers who have subscribed to the daily inspirational reading coming into 2017, I wanted to share it earlier with the new subscribers but I do not believe it was God's timing for me to share; because each time I went to share this word God gave me another word for that day, however, the past several days the Holy Spirit has placed in my heart to share this word again. Through my obedience to His voice I am sharing it with you. Let's take heed today to His word. Once again I asked for your prayers during this journey to Israel.  I felt led to share God's Word and what He has placed on my heart.


Today it appears that our nation is topsy turvy, "a state of utter confusion". God makes no mistakes.  "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God. Consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." (Romans 13:1-2) Worship the lord for every perfect decision He makes, whether we like it or not! Don't find yourself praying and trying to go into spiritual warfare against God and his solidified will. Jesus is not going to stop reigning. God is always working behind the scene.... He's directing it all.

"The LORD of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back? “(Isaiah 14:27)
God predestined these things to happen, and God’s Will be done. "Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) God is not a man that He should lie.
Even if my natural mind doesn't always like His decisions, my faith in His sovereignty and perfect ways always takes the forefront. I'm not thinking about mere mortals thoughts on it, because most try to override God and do not understand why He has to allow certain things.

PROPHETIC WORD NOVEMBER 2016.
It's seriously time to get it together, God is not playing and Satan is working double time and over time. No More Water, But Fire The Next Time. They ignored the prophecy, continued in their wickedness, and were consumed by the floods of angry waters in the days of Noah. Likewise, many make a mockery of those God uses to warn them, and don't believe, but they too will perish in their wickedness and arrogance, but this time BY FIRE. God is not a man that He should lie; nor is he mocked. Get your houses in order. . Any church that advocates for sin and tells you that there is more than one way to God, is a Synagogue of Satan!

The Holy Spirit told me repeatedly: God is not playing in this hour!
Tell them that powerful demons are being unchained in hell, and are being released into the earth to torment and destroy the inhabitants. God's concern is His people, His church. Where are they, who are they worshiping, what are they doing? Why are they not listening to and obeying sound doctrine? Things are about to get worse. They must pray. This is the season where you have to mean what you say, and say what you mean! Most of all, your actions need to align with your words in everything, because every move you make is crucial, and the time is very sensitive right now. The devil is not showing any mercy on anyone. As a matter of fact, he is even more relentless, because he knows his time is almost up. He is sending more of his human agents and demons your way to distract, derail, and destroy you.  Something is getting ready to pop off.

It's also a time to sever all meaningless and toxic ties, even from those you're just use to being around.  You cannot stay bound to these people and things that are keeping you with constant emotional highs and lows and keep you from progressing. This change is essential for your next level. You can love, forgive, and pray for people from afar! Never allow anyone to make you feel guilty about you wanting to completely sever ties with them, especially if they are hell on wheels, interfering with your relationship with God, and constantly bringing chaos into your life. High blood pressure can lead to death! Use wisdom! Put your spiritual eyes on, be vigilant, and stand firm in your convictions in your walk, and in your dealings with people.

Do not be easily persuaded. Be bold and direct. Be led by the spirit of God, and have a zero tolerance for people coming to you with ulterior motives, trying to insult your intelligence, or with conniving spirits. STOP THEM IN THEIR TRACKS! You have to be unwavering in everything. Let them call it mean if they like. Guard yourself. If you're saved, be saved unapologetically and without shame. Let them call you Holy Roller or whatever else. People will talk whether you're doing good or bad. We are going into a new season, beloveds. It's time to surround yourself with those that genuinely love, support, tell you the truth from a pure place, and have your best interest at hand.

To those of you that are highly anointed, faithful, and obedient to God, when the enemy and his demons cannot touch you, because they know you are too full of power. They will always look for your spiritually weak family; those who lack understanding of the spirit world, and sinful family members or those you love the most, and attack them to get to you. They will even attempt to kill them, and possess them. I know it sounds crazy, but this is the works of the kingdom of darkness. They are stupid like that!

Their goal is to shake your foundation, thwart your faith, halt your prayer life, distract, derail, and ultimately destroy you.
When you pray, you must use your body (brain), spirit, and soul to go into the spiritual realm; visualize/use your imagination, and by name, put your loved ones into the center of a circle, and begin asking God to put a hedge of protection and an incubator of the blood of Jesus, around everyone within that circle.

Also, verbally loose the terror of God on, and bind any demon and/or even human agents that is planning to come into that circle to harm those you've placed inside it. Pray with scripture "Whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." all in Jesus's name.

My Heavenly Father, my all and all, You are raising up a standard in this season, and we are called to unwavering faith and obedience in this hour like never before.
 My mind and heart is stayed on You. My hopes are on things eternal. We are but a vapor in this earth; one minute we're here, and the next we're gone. Time is so precious, and it waits for nothing. I just want you to be pleased with me. My entire being and everything You allow is for Your glory.
We must trust You Lord and we love You with all our heart and soul.


Blessings  
J.P. Olson

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WORD OF THE DAY: “When You Are TESTED. God Can Be TRUSTED.” Every Situation That Touches Your Life, God Is There.


WORD OF THE DAY: “When you are TESTED. God can be TRUSTED.” Your world may shake but the Word of God never moves. Faith in Christ is a firm Foundation. When you read and trust God’s Promises your problems will evaporate and experience the PRESENCE of God in a powerful way. The Bible says: “I have yet to see the righteous forsaken” and true to His Word, the Lord sent an earthquake, the jail cells flew open and Paul and Silas were set free. The irony is they were free even when hand-cuffed. With the Lord we find liberty and you cannot contain God in a box or handcuffs. Atheists are actually in “prison” while walking with no shackles but Christians are free even in confinement.

Have you discovered yet that being saved doesn’t insulate nor isolate you from the problems of this sin cursed world?  For those who insist on believing salvation is the end to problems I say, okay, but it’s the front end!  Struggles and difficulties continue, and oft times increase when you get saved, for now you have a new enemy coming after you! Trials and tribulations are real. But, so is God!  When you find yourself too deep in a situation stop and pray!  We may be overwhelmed by it, but God is not. We may not see a way out, but God can.  When you have situations beyond your control, when you find yourself in unpredictable, uncontrollable, frustrating circumstances, there is still one thing you can count on to have control of your situation. We all are subject, but with God He is the Author of it all. You have to trust God to work in your life and bring order, hope, and peace out of the chaos.

Prayer Will: Get you in, Get you Out, Get You Through. Never underestimate the power of prayer. When was the last time did you hear God speak?  When God speaks one thing we must realize. When God speaks it won’t be in the form of man. It won’t be in the form of man’s opinion.  It won’t be in the form of man’s intelligence. It won’t be in the form of man’s understanding. It won’t look like man. It won’t sound like man. It won’t feel like man. And it won’t be man. It will be God!!! God doesn't require a job interview. He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses, because He's more our Dad than our Boss. He doesn't look at financial gain or loss. He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

This is why so many people cannot find direction from the lord.  They’re too busy trying to get.... Man’s approval. Man’s opinion. Man’s wisdom. With all of man’s wisdom, with all of man’s understanding, with all of man’s intellect, it cannot give the peace of mind that the Holy Ghost gives. Your whole world may be falling down around you. You may be facing a test that is life shattering. You may be looking into the face of death himself, but if you can get into a place where the voice of God can be heard. The Holy Ghost is a Promise, Comforter, Teacher and Guide. “It will lead you unto all truth”

When God speaks something is going to change!!! He spoke to the Void of darkness in creation and light and life sprang forth!!! He spoke to the frogs in Pharaoh’s river and they plagued his house. He spoke to valley of dry bones and they came to life again. He spoke to the blind and they began to see. He spoke to the dumb and he began to speak. He spoke to the leper and he was made clean. He spoke to Lazarus and he rose from the dead. He spoke to the storm and it was made calm.

And He is speaking to you today. We need to let God’s word into our lives. God’s word is like the sweet manna in the desert. It’s the cool water to the parched lips. Hosea 4:6 ...  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Who’s people? God’s People! People who should be living a blessed life! People who should be feeling the power of God in their life! They are reduced to poverty because they could not hear God’s word! I wonder what blessing would flow in our lives if we would only hear from God. This is why the Holy Ghost is so important to the believer.

Does it bother us that we can’t hear from God? Do we weep for lack of His voice?  Do we cry out in the darkness ...”Who art thou Lord”? Does it bother us when we can’t hear Him? “OH that I might know HIM!!!” “OH that I could hear Him speak to this church”. “OH that His word would go forth” “We go down to our knees, or we go down to oblivion.” When you are afraid, Trust in God: When You Are Not Afraid, Trust in God.

Every Situation That Touches Your Life, God Is There. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Is It Odd or Is It God? As Many Times As I Have Read This Verse, I Missed This. I Wonder How Many Others Missed It As Well?



John 3:16

There is a probability that some of you such as myself had not really paid attention to the word in the center of this verse: John 3:16. Many people are celebrating Valentine's Day on today with friend's, husband/wives, couples as the list goes on. Flowers , candy and gifts are given in expression of Love. But God gave us a greater Gift, His Son and within this verse we find the Word: VALENTINE.  Is It Odd or Is It God? This verse is the true meaning of Love; God's Love.  Marinate on it, inhale it, exhale it, can you feel the Love in this verse, there is no greater love or Gift known to man than that of One who suffered, bled, died and rose again so that we may live.  Jesus; the Son of God who walked the earth as God in human form to save a world lost in sin. Jesus, the One whom John is writing about in John 3:16. Jesus Christ is the true expression of Love.

The Ancient Greeks came up with Four Types of Love:  
AGAPE, the unconditional love that Jesus demonstrates for us.
PHILEO: The phileo love refers to an affectionate, it is how you feel about someone. It is a committed and chosen love.
STORGE: It is a kind of family and friendship love.
EROS: Eros is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it is the kind that often triggers “high” feelings in a new relationship and makes you say, “I love him/her”. It is simply an emotional and sexual love
In all that we do on this day, let us remember the Son of God who lives today. Let us demonstrate His Love to mankind, to each other. Let us give thanks to the Giver for the ultimate Gift. This is true love, this is what Love represents. John 3:16. There is a sweet aroma, when we call on the name of Jesus. 

"The first Valentine was posted around 1806. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers. Therefore, Claudius banned soldiers from being married. One version of the story is that Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and Claudius had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer's daughter. Valentine sent her a card and signed it, "Love, your Valentine." Another version is that Valentine defied Claudius by helping Christians escape the torture of the Romans."

"Valentine died in approximately A.D. 270. Others claim the church may have decided to celebrate in mid February to "Christianize" the pagan Roman celebration Lupercalia. The first Valentine sent in the United States was in the 1840's by Esther Howgald. Most of us enjoy "spoiling" a loved one on Valentine's Day. Sending gifts and cards conveys love, affection, and friendship."

There is no biblical reason why Christians should not celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving their loved ones flowers, candy and/or cards. Some people feel very strongly that observing any secular holiday is wrong, while others see it as harmless. The important thing to remember is that celebrating or not celebrating holidays should not be a cause for pride or division among Christians. 

When we are confused on what to do or not to do, go to the Word of God for understanding. Let us remember John 3:16 because it is in this verse where we see and experience the magnitude of Love that God has shown each of us through His Son Jesus Christ "that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life." It's just doesn't get any better than that. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Faith Defeats All Opposition. Jesus Has Promised That Our Requests Get God's Personal Attention!

Faith Defeats All Opposition. Jesus Has Promised That Our Requests Get God's Personal Attention! In my trials I know that the Comforter walks with me while I talk with my God. The Master Builder (God) can pull out the original plan and restore it! There's no pit so deep that Jesus love cannot go deeper.  Whatever the need of the moment, the answer can be found in scripture if we take the time to search for it. Be patient, wait for Him to tell you where to move and what to do, He will never lead you where He has not already been.

In all circumstances we can give thanks that God has not left us on our own. Pain and problems are a part of life but theres also purpose and promise in it too. Exercise your faith. When all else fails grab your Bible and read your instructions. Father I come to You today with faith in my heart and praise on my lips. I praise You Father for the gift of life. Only Christ the Living Bread can satisfy our spiritual hunger.

It's Time to Cry Out. YOU SEE, TROUBLE NOT ONLY PLACES A DEMAND ON YOUR FAITH, BUT REVEALS THE DEPTH OF IT! Truth is, you don’t really know much about your faith when your bills are paid, your body is healthy, your children are acting right, and your marriage is intact! BUT WHEN ALL IN YOUR LIFE IS BREAKING LOOSE AND YOU TRUST GOD TO BRING YOU THROUGH IT, YOU KNOW YOU’VE GOT GENUINE FAITH! Storms come and go and Jesus is always there though it all. Become firm and established in Jesus love, firm in your faith and understanding.

The enemy is attacking your mind, your rest, your peace, your emotions and your thought life! So what can you do?  Lift up the shield of faith and stop his flaming arrows: Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” and use it to drive him back! (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV). Put Your Faith To Work because It's time to cry out.

Listen to another example, the Syrian army had surrounded the city of Samaria and its population was dying of starvation. Having lived off scraps of bread that folks threw over the wall each day, four lepers quickly assessed that they were in trouble. They said, “WHY SIT HERE UNTIL WE DIE?” (2 Kings 7:3 TLB). So they went into the city, only to discover God had worked a miracle, causing the Syrians to flee in terror, leaving behind them food, water, and riches!  What do we learn from these four lepers? REFUSE TO SIT THERE AND DIE! WHEN YOU PUT YOUR FAITH INTO ACTION, GOD WILL GO TO WORK ON YOUR BEHALF! BUT YOU HAVE TO RISE UP AND SAY:  I Will Live and Not Die, I Will Survive, I Will Rise Above My problem and this situation.

You see, I’ve learned from personal experience, when you get DESPERATE enough you won’t care who God uses to fuel your faith, you’ll be willing to receive any help He sends your way! Just ask Naaman!  Naaman the leper, a five-star general in the Syrian army, humbled himself and eventually became willing to listen to a girl who washed dishes and made beds in his house!

(Listen: When somebody has an answer from God to deliver to you, you won’t care who the messenger is, what they look like, what they do or what they've got on, just as long as they deliver your message of healing!)  Naaman was even willing to finally dip seven times in the dirtiest river around, in order to come up clean (2 Kings 5:1-19). Genuine faith says: “I don’t care where I have to go, what I have to do, or who I have to listen to, whatever God says, I’ll do it!” Why live with a disease when you can simply believe God, trust what He says, and put your faith to work?! 

Real faith in action needs no explanation in order to act! Sometimes God will give you “a Word” and it looks like it’s not even working – but it is – yes, even when it doesn’t look like it!  The faith that God responds to does not require understanding of the orders given, just obedience in carrying them out! And when you do, you’ll be amazed at what He does in the meantime! The more you walk by faith, God is restoring, resurrecting, returning, reviving, regenerating, reestablishing, and in the end you’ll do the rejoicing when all of the broken pieces are finally brought back together again! And all it takes is faith! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

That May Be Exactly What’s Happening In Your Life Right Now! It Doesn’t Feel Good, But It Is Good! God Is Lovingly Removing Things & People You Think You Need.

 “I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and REPEATEDLY PRUNES every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” (John 15:1-2 AMP).

 “Better to be pruned to grow than cut up to burn.” (John Trapp).

We all really need to understand this pruning process, especially since it’s one of God’s Most Important Methods In Growing Us! In fact, some of the difficulty and loss that you’re experiencing right now May Actually Be Your Heavenly Father Cutting You Back to Help You Grow Up! And the results are going to be far greater than they ever could have been if He left what He has been taking away!  In short, HE LEAVES YOU WITH LESS, SO YOU CAN BE AVAILABLE FOR MORE!

Jesus went on to explain that all the things we do for Him have to flow from our deep relationship with Him – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man REMAINS in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; APART from Me you can do nothing…If you REMAIN in Me and My words REMAIN in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” If you keep loading up on Jesus and getting ever closer to Him, your life is going to be Abundantly Fruitful! You’re going to make a Greater Difference with your life than you’ve ever made before! You’re going to be More Spiritually Magnetic, and having you around is going to be more and more like actually having Jesus around! You are going to attract more people into the Fruitful Kingdom of God!

BUT before the fruit, COMES THE PRUNING!

I imagine if a vine could talk, he’d say to the pruner, “You’re killing me, man!” And the gardener would reply, “I know this hurts, but I’m actually removing things you don’t really need so you can explode with greater fruit.” THAT MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW! IT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD, BUT IT IS GOOD! GOD IS LOVINGLY REMOVING THINGS (AND PEOPLE) YOU  THINK YOU NEED, BUT THINGS (AND PEOPLE) THAT MAY BE HOLDING YOU DOWN, HOLDING YOU BACK, OR HOLDING YOU CAPTIVE! THE CUTBACKS ARE COSTLY BUT WORTH IT! THE PRUNING IS PAINFUL, BUT ESSENTIAL TO YOUR POTENTIAL, PRODUCTIVITY AND PROSPERITY!

I actually learned that there are a few types of pruning methods:

FIRST, THERE’S “THINNING”: This is a drastic form of pruning, a thinning out cut is the removal of an entire shoot, limb, or branch AT ITS POINT OF ORIGIN! When performed correctly, thinning encourages the formation of new growth that will more readily bear fruit and flowers!

NOW FOR THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION OF “THINNING”: in order for many of us to grow properly, we have to be pruned to the extent that we remove, entirely, people, places and things that helped us get to this damaged place we’re in now! Remember: thinning removes the entire shoot, limb or branch at its origin! In other words, where it all started! Don’t be afraid or ashamed to thin some folks and some stuff out! Remove him, her or them, if they dare to compromise your potential to prosper! If you do, you’ll then be in the position to formulate (healthy people, places and things) so that new growth can transpire, more readily for bearing fruit!

SECOND, THERE’S “TOPPING”: Topping is a very severe form of pruning which involves removing all branches and growths down to a few large branches or to the trunk of the tree. When performed correctly IT IS USED ON VERY YOUNG TREES TO TRAIN THEM TO GROW INTO SPECIFIC SHAPES!

NOW FOR THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION OF “TOPPING”:  When used correctly, topping is used on young trees to train them to grow in specific shapes or in specific directions! When you see those beautiful trees, with all their unique twists and turns to them in various shapes and designs, THEY ARE THE RESULT OF TOPPING! But in order for that to take place IT HAS TO START YOUNG! Now it would be very easy for me to pick on our YOUNG PEOPLE (Which the Church Does Far Too Often), but instead we’re going to go in a different direction, and speak of “YOUNG” in terms of “immaturity!” people of God, if you’re ever going to finally grow up, and come to full maturity, you’ve got to surrender yourself to topping! It means bringing all your immature issues before the gardener for him to prune, so you can finally grow up into the specific shape and design that he had in mind long before your birth! The good news is that you can’t do this for old trees, they’re already set in their ways and hardened, so if you’re still an “immature saint”, there’s help and hope for you yet! You’re in the best possible position to be re-directed for the destiny you’ve been designed for!

THIRD, THERE’S “RAISING”: This removes the lower branches from a tree in order to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas!

Now for the spiritual application of “Raising”: this type of pruning is of a necessity, not for you, but for those around you! “Raising” is a form of pruning that moves you out of the way, so others can get by and get through! I hate to say it like this, but this level of pruning is often for those who have been doing something so long that they’ve perfected it and can’t nobody else on planet earth do it like them or better than them as long as they’re still alive! You have to be pruned to make room for others! After 30 years, you shouldn’t see all the same preachers in the same pulpit; the same choir members, the same musicians, the same deacons, the same members! Moses is dead and so is Joshua…but there is a new generation! Let us not block them with our old set ways!

FOURTH AND FINAL, THERE’S “REDUCTION”: this reduces the size of a tree, often for clearance for utility lines! Reducing the height or spread of a tree is best accomplished by pruning back the leaders and branch terminals to lateral branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles! Compared to ‘topping’, ‘reduction’ helps maintain the form and structural integrity of the tree!

Now for the spiritual application of “Reduction”: this type of pruning hurts leadership! Because reduction removes branches that are high up by the power lines, cuts them back so that room for those underneath them can assume their role!  In actuality, this shouldn’t be all that hard at all, since the leader branch that is being cut back, is only making room for the lateral branch to come up and take its place!

“Every Living Thing Needs to be Pruned, So It Can Reach Its Fullest Potential – Including You and Me.” (Author Unknown)

“God Prunes Us When He is About to Take Us Into a New Season of Growth and Expansion.” (Christine Caine)

“Every Experience is Part of God’s Pruning Process. You’ve Been Picked Out to be Picked On. He Cuts Off Fruitless Branches and Prunes Fruitful Ones.” (Author Unknown)

 “For Me, Slowing Down Was Simply Another Way to Prune the Bush. To Force Myself Into Cutting Away Certain Parts of My Life So That I Don’t Wake Up Next February, Blooming Roses I Don’t Like.” (Erin Loechner)

“Pruning is a Necessary Part of Life. In Order to Move Forward, You Must Let Go.” (Cheryl Richardson)

“When God Has You in a Place of Waiting, He’s Preparing You For Greater. He’s Sifting, Pruning, Refining, and Shaping You For the Best That is to Come.” (Author Unknown)

Blessings
J.P. Olson