Guest Post by Starla Smith from Sunday2Monday.blog
Sunday2Monday: What Needs To Change?
This weekend, as we continue our series Rhythms of Grace our new friend, Rob Tanner, shared about the need for pruning in our lives. Rob and his wife, Julie, and their son Lucas have recently come to Iowa from Texas. They are wonderful people with a vision to plant a church in Iowa City. While they await the Lord’s timing and provision they have partnered with our church and have become regular faces. I am so glad that God connected these great hearts to our family at Springs.
So let’s get right to it, Rob pressed us about the necessity of pruning. Pruning is simply to cut back. Rob didn’t hold back on us. He gave it to us straight just like we would expect from someone coming from Texas. In the first service, he messed with our expectations of what we believe the Pastor of the church “should” be doing. Our Pastor is just one man. A man just like every other man. A man with great heart and real-life limitations. He can’t do everything, be everywhere, or be God to us. His main role as husband and father to his family, and to us as our Pastor, he is to study the Word and deliver it to the people. He is to care for our souls. He needs us, the church, to do our role. Our part in the body of Christ is to minister. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to love, go, give, help, work, organize events, and serve the people. Yes, yes I know, he does too, but not to everyone, in everything, at all times. He can’t, it is physically, emotionally impossible to expect that from one person. For him to stay healthy and leading well, we have to do better and care for his soul, as well as our own.
In the second service, he mainly hammered our love of overload. We have so much on our calendar’s that we don’t have room for what God wants to do in our lives. We expect ourselves to do everything, be everywhere, and do it all. We can’t! God knows that. In this passage, from Ecclesiastes, we are given a signpost of sorts, something important to pay attention too. There are times and seasons for everything and every activity. We can’t keep everything or hold on to it all. Hoarding in any form can be devastating to our futures.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
There is a time and a season for everything, and in this season of finding how to enter into the Rhythms of Grace, we must also be willing to prune, to know what time we are in, and what season it is for us. It’s not easy to prune. It’s not an easy thing to change how we do things, where we go, and who are connected too.
The biggest enemy to tomorrow is something we are doing today!
Rob gave us 3 things we must do to stay flexible and ready for what God has for us.
- Cut- You might have to cut back good things: Just like the word implies, cutting hurts. We have to look at our calendars, our checkbooks, our friendship, and activities. We cant keep doing, going, giving, and helping everywhere.
- Stop- Don’t hang on to what is dead or spiritually sick: This is a strong word from Rob, but a needed one! We have some dead horses in our lives that we have been kicking for years. We keep going around the same mountains over and over again. Eventually, these things either make us sick or kill us.
- Look- What does the Lord have for my life: The way we look at our life is important. Sometimes we get magnifying glasses on our past and get stuck. Our past has the power to hold us captive if we let it. All the what if’s, could have’s, wish I did or didn’t, and why’s will kill our dreams and rob us of the goodness that God has for us now and into the future.
We can’t keep doing what we have always done and expect to get a different result, it is time to prune our life. Where are you feeling tired of it all? Are you ready to know what God is doing, right now, in your life? What do you need to start? What need’s to end? What is a good thing but it takes up your resources of time, talent, and money? What “old ways” do you think are better but aren’t working anymore?
Rob gave us some great content this past weekend. Meet me over at the Watering Hole as we unpack these 3 ways to stay flexible and ready for what God has for us. Until then….