In the third week at the School of Theology, students learned that being pruned by the Word is vital to growth in a believer’s life.
By Clinton Dixon
In the space of three short weeks I have gone from being an unknown international SOT student to being an unknown international SOT student who writes a blog. Yes, you might think that blogging is the netizen’s ticket to fame; that, along with fortune, power with visions of cyberspace creatures hanging off your every word, fanmail choking your inbox and laptop endorsements.
But I have a very different story to tell. Blogging is all about blood, sweat and tears, long days and even shorter nights, eye strain, brain strain, and having the courage to break all the rules of English and grammar. But above all this, blogging is all about pruning of the vine. Come again? Pruning what, you ask? (Has he been drinking too much from the vine?)
As you can probably tell, I am kind of new to the blogging world (you don’t say lah!). In my case, inexperience came with a healthy dose naivete. I just thought the piece I submitted would be published word for word, but it was subject to editing by editorial staff (
shock, horror … ) for purposes of clarity. Initially this upset me (hello, pride), then I understood that not only my writing but my character was being pruned.
We were very blessed and honored as a church to have Pastor Bill Johnson speak to us last week. He brought with him his anointing for healing and miracles, plus fresh revelation on the “renewing of the mind”. He also talked about pruning the vine. “God prunes us so we don’t go in a direction that was not intended for us,” he said.
Having one’s life pruned is a painful yet necessary experience for a believer. We are all called to bear fruit in our lives and God rewards all growth with pruning so we can grow even more. Pastor Bill went on to say that God prunes us by talking to us. It made me think of how blessed we are for God to speak to us in so many ways! Whether it is through His Word, prayer or through revelations by the Holy Spirit, we have ample opportunity to listen and implement changes. Listening is the easy part though; making changes takes a bit of work.
In my own personal walk I have had people speak wisdom into my life which has changed me forever. Some of it was very painful to hear at the time, and it was even more painful to put those changes in motion, but the fruit from it has been incredible and it has not only shaped me but blessed those close to me.
Aren’t you glad that you serve a God who’s willing to shape you in his perfect image? God cares enough to love you unconditionally yet knows you are a work-in-progress. Letting God edit the story of your life means He is in control—He gets all the glory and you receive all the blessings. We can’t ask for a better deal than this, can we?
Clinton is married to Grace, has two young boys and is fast approaching middle age (but don’t tell anyone else). He hails from the land of the long white cloud—New Zealand—and admits to having very little understanding of The Lord Of The Rings. Through his studies at SOT, he is seeking to find God’s true calling on his life.