You know those moments where you are thinking something you believe you SHOULDN’T? There’s a holy conviction, “Yeah, this isn’t right”. “I know acting out this or that certainly will not reflect Christ. Lord, help me keep my mouth shut, my face straight, and give me the grace to not explode in so doing”.
This morning I found myself there. Some things get me going. One of them being when others present the ideas they’ve mined from other people and present them as their own. I recently heard from a fellow creative, Erwin McManus, “Every time someone pays the counterfeit, the thief is receiving the reward”. Woah.
Counterfeits stink. They come with a cost, even though they may seem to be, or even are in many cases, more affordable. Their inception is grounded in lack of integrity. Inevitably compromising the material it is built upon. Eventually it will fall apart and cause the one who bought into it to replace it or perhaps choose to buy the original. Counterfeits come with a cost.
I’m thinking of this and then I pray, “Lord, prune my thoughts. Graft in YOUR thoughts and character for this situation. You be reflected in this situation. Bless me with the words to speak and share, should this perceived injustice be confronted.”
While praying, I saw a tree. I saw a large oak tree. Remain deeply rooted in love came to mind. I then saw branches and even some roots being cut away. Another vine was grafted in. A new sprout and bud popped up on another.
How often do we avoid those uncomfortable places or opportunities for correction? How often do we just stuff the feelings down and move on? How often do we say to ourselves I am going to make right of this situation and confront? How often do we rely on our self, rather than the Holy Spirit, to give us the words to speak?
As the image continued to become clearer, new branches crafted in and new buds popping up, I realized the tree would be bearing new fruit. His fruit. Any fruit now coming from this tree would be the “real deal”, a fruit of the Spirit, not a counterfeit provided by a soul maneuvering from a natural response.
I pray we do not fear the pruning. I pray we trust the Lord will not prune, only to leave a painful, gaping wound or severed limb. I pray we realize He prunes to make room for His character, His will, His BLESSING – His reflection.
I pray we go to Him with our character, in exchange for His. I pray the world begin to see more clearly Who God REALLY is through our lives – because we intentionally choose the REAL DEAL over our natural-world-shaped feelings, thoughts and preferences.