Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Wonderful Peace"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 7:1 – Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (NKJV)
The company that owns the forest behind my son's country property has been actively cutting down trees, which I thought was a shame, the bit of a tree hugger that I am. But what they are doing is thinning out the forest, so that the remaining trees can receive more sunlight, resulting in healthier growth. Unwanted debris, which could deter growth, is also removed from the forest floor. The workers carefully use an old, traditional method of hauling the logs out of the forest, utilizing horses and ropes. This is done to minimize damage to the forest itself.
In my walk with Lord over the years, I've experienced some thinning, too. Attitudes, erroneous beliefs, and destructive habits have been stripped away one by one by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Following the thinning process in my journey with God, I discovered that His anointing in my life increased, and I was able to minister to others more effectively. During this thinning, I felt that God was being very patient and careful not to destroy my spirit, just like the company's gentle approach to forest management. It was a slow and carefully induced process in my life.
However, I haven't always been patient in disciplining others. Unlike the Lord, I expected too much thinning too soon in the person's walk, and met with failure to keep the person on the Lord's path. They couldn't walk the walk, they told me.
James 5:7 – Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. (NKJV)
Are you willing to allow some thinning in your life walk, by the Holy Spirit? The Father is willing and compassionate to assist us, no matter what stage of life or faith walk we are presently in. Perhaps we are helping a brother or sister who is new in the faith. If so, let us be careful as the Lord uses us in the thinning process in their spiritual walk.
Prayer: Father God, we thank You for Your longsuffering to bring us first to salvation and then to mature us through Your thinning process. Help us to be compassionate in dealing with others along the way. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.