Our God is Pruning On
by Fred Swartz
“And in that day, declares the Lord, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds.” (Micah 5:10-11, ESV)
God has a strange idea of what victory looks like. In the bit before this statement in Micah he is talking to Israel, describing a day of great victory for them, so the “your” in the scripture is Israel. In Israel’s day of great victory, evidently God is going to destroy all their cool stuff.
It shouldn’t strike me as strange, though, because I’ve been through this myself many times. He removes everything I could possibly trust in besides himself, and that stripping away, that pruning, is my pathway to victory, no matter what the battle is.
Victory only matters in the battles I fight if God is getting the glory. Honestly, where is his incentive to deliver me from circumstance or affliction or opposition if I’m going to attribute the victory to my intellect, my teaching style, my firmness about doctrine, my discipleship methods, my charisma, my connections, my family, my donors, my mission agency, my denomination, or anything else other than the mighty working of the Spirit of God? And if there is any chance of me attributing victory to any of those things, then those things will go the way of Israel’s horses, chariots, cities, and strongholds.
It’s all about fruit in the end. Any of the things I may be tempted to trust in are branches in my life that God has given me to bear fruit. But when they bear fruit, he prunes them so that I don’t trust in them. Consequently, all of the many gifts that God has given me will have seasons of apparent barrenness so that my trust remains firmly in the Lord and his power.
So, when it seems like God is bringing about the exact opposite of victory, it’s actually him preparing the way for a greater victory where he alone gets the glory. And, honestly, if I want anything other than God getting all the glory, then I am in the wrong line of work.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7, ESV)
- How have you seen God prune away good things in your life so that He gets the glory for what happens?
- What pruning do you resist?