Philippians 2:14 says:
Do all things without complaining and disputing
Complaining is something I’ve always done. About the weather. About things that don’t go my way. About circumstances. About the driving habits of other people. I don’t have time to unfurl the entire scroll here. You get the point.
In conversations with my Father, I always ask Him to prune away anything in me that doesn’t produce life. Any dead branches still hanging on for dear life to this new tree God has transplanted within me.
I believe that’s a huge part of “working out our own salvation.” When we are born again, I believe our spirit is instantly transformed and made completely new. We are no longer in darkness but in the light. We go from being sinners to saints. From unrighteousness to righteousness. Old things are gone, ALL things are made new.
I also believe it’s a process we work through in our flesh. As the tagline of this site says, I am always growing a little more in Him every day. I am renewing my mind all the time. Feeding it with truth. Taking each thought captive. Being fully aware of my thoughts, actions, and words.
In the past, my mind was on auto pilot. I had no control over it. Now, I have both hands on the wheel. When God radically wrecked my heart fifteen months ago, everything changed.
And I just want to be clear. I’m not trying to “clean myself up” by checking off boxes on a list. Jesus cleaned me up. Forever. Now, it’s a matter of training/renewing my mind in the way of righteousness. Walking out in my flesh what has already transpired in my spirit.
I am constantly learning, growing, believing more and more who God says I am. I used to think sin was the biggest hindrance to relationship with God. Now I know it’s unbelief. Once I understood and actually believed with my heart that He loves me unconditionally, my entire world turned upside down.
I can see an obvious change in my complaining. Some is still there, still present, but I don’t complain nearly as much as I did in the past. That withering, dried up branch has almost completely been pruned away by Papa.
Luke 6:45 says (emphasis mine):
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
If I’m constantly complaining, it reveals one thing. I’m focused on self. On me.
But what is the first requirement of following Jesus? He said it Himself. “Deny your self…”
I don’t want anything in my actions, speech, or thoughts that don’t produce life. Things that aren’t mirroring Christ. Complaining was never in the life of Jesus. I sure as heck don’t want it in mine.
There is nothing more refreshing and life-changing than pruning sessions with Papa. I encourage you to get into the secret place, when no one else is around, and talk to God. Thank Him for everything He has done and is doing in your life. Ask Him to prune everything from your tree that doesn’t produce life.
As a good, good Father, He will always answer.