Thinning Out

May 28, 2013
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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.


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About the author:

Allan Smith <agwsmith6@gmail.com>
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good advice!


    Thanks Allan for a good word.


    Good morning, Alan: Thank you for today’s message. Well written!


    Praise God that he doesn’t use the clear cutting method on us! Well said Allan. Blessings.


    That’s a big amen brother!
    (England)


    Excellent devotional! Goes along with next Sunday’s lesson we will have on Holiness. Keep writing.
    Blessings.


    Great article Al, it gives me a new perspective on growing in Christ and dealing with old ideas and instinctive habits.
    Blessings Brother.


    Allan, thank you again and as always I enjoyed this very much. I am glad to see you share with us again. May God continue to inspire you and direct your thinking.


    Thanks for a challenging devotional. I am sure we can all do with some thinning out. Nor can we ever be totally satisfied with our present state if we want to grow in grace.
    Blessings.


    Dear Allan – I love your analogy about thinning out erroneous beliefs and attitudes from our lives.
    We are then ready for His Spirit to work through us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
    God bless you.


    Excellent analogy! I wish I had learned this process years ago. That must be part of the thinning process itself! In the past I think I have mistaken the “growing” process for something else.
    Instead of recognizing someone’s need to “grow” in faith and obedience, I think I have seen some behaviours as a sign of not having received The Lord Jesus at all. How awful!
    May God forgive me and move me along in my own faith, obedience and in my willingness to pray even more seriously for those who appear not to have the guidance of our precious Holy Spirit, not judging them as “unsaved” but rather ‘bearing with them as perhaps saved but not yet changed’. If I could ask The Lord one thing, that would be it! That I would be able to discern the difference between someone who is saved but not aware of certain behaviour that is inconsistent with being a Christian believer, and someone who is has not yet made the personal connection with The Lord through Confession and repentance and asking The Lord into ones life.
    There is such a difference, but not one that we can always be clear about. Perhaps being willing to pray is the most important … Maybe the ONLY important response on our part. It has always seemed to give me trouble. I wonder if I’m more of a judgmental person than I thought, or want to be!

 



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