Today is a day of compromise for many Christians. Cares of this life too easily ensnare the saints.
Have you ever tried to grow a bonsai tree?
Bonsai is the ancient Japanese art of cultivating miniature trees. Although developed in the Chinese empire about 1000 B.C., the pastime quickly spread, and the Japanese word “bonsai” for the custom took hold around the world. With this method of Japanese horticulture, trees are heavily pruned to grant a particular interesting shape, an artistic form.
Early in the life of this tree, though, the horticulturist must remove up to one third of the root system. This pruning is done with sharp shears, and the intent is to cut off the flow of nutrients to the furthest branch. Once the tree is undernourished, it cannot grow to the size of others of its variety. It is deliberately kept small.
Sadly, Christians will cut themselves off from the opportunity to grow to full stature in Christ. We refuse to yield to the Lord…to surrender our thoughts, our actions, our motives to Him. We attempt to compete with the God of the Universe for control. Our desire is to mold our destiny, to achieve the outcome we choose.
“Failure on the part of a Christian to commit Himself wholly to God shuts off the life-giving flow of divine grace.” __Stephen Olford
Yet, our merciful and loving God continually works on us…growing us in holiness and Christ-likeness…but we often miss our part, which is to trust. “Man’s part is to trust; God’s part is to work. Truly the believer can do nothing but trust, while God in whom he trusts, actually does the work.” __Author Unknown
In today’s culture, demands are high just to “make it” day to day. As our circumstances grow more and more difficult and stressful, we experience unrest or worry, and begin to long for that spiritual peace, that satisfied life. We don’t even realize that we are not trusting. We miss the fact that we are cutting off our own root system through lack of surrender.
Recently, I read about the life of Caleb in the Scriptures in the book of Joshua. Caleb “wholly followed the Lord His God” (Joshua 14:14). God used Caleb, like Moses and Joshua, to deliver His people from bondage. As Caleb spied upon the land God promised, he saw giants. He did not fear. He trusted. He obeyed. He lived a life wholly surrendered to God. And God allowed Caleb to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
“God works in us and with us, not against us or without us.” __John Owen
The Lord wants His children to mature, to grow fully, for their spiritual roots to be strong. He desires for us to experience a satisfied life. Only through a wholehearted surrender to Christ can we receive the joys of a life completely satisfied in Him.
What thing, what person, what fear, what worry, what outcome might I be holding onto today? Where do I need to exchange my will for Thy will, dear Lord?
“Please prevent me from compromise, Father. The easy route would be to stuff myself full of the things of this world. But help me to long for more of You. Please help me to trust You with full control and wholly surrender those areas in my life which are giving me unrest. In Christ alone, I trust.”
“For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:10
Moment by Moment In Christ,
Going Places With God by Stephen F. Olford
The Holiness of God by RC Sproul
The Art of Ancient Japanese Bonsai | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6739569_art-ancient-japanese-bonsai.html#ixzz1LqdwKchj