HSI has been in a season of rest and reflection for the past three months, and God has been stirring us deeply as we have sought to hear Him anew. Since ministry is best driven through our inner life with Christ, we sense He wants to grow us from the inside out. We greatly anticipate the increased fruitfulness and productivity that will result from this brief time of retreat from full activity (From “Sabbath Rest” by Ken Davidson).
Two important themes have surfaced for our focus:
1) The Weaned Soul – based on Psalm 131. Read HSI Founder Ken Davidson’s thoughts.
2) The Pruned Life
Let’s look at the second one.
One of our team members has a farm with a small vineyard, and last year he heavily pruned the vines because they had been left for a decade. It was a ton of work, but also produced a ton of new vines and fruit. I have a small garden which I planted about 9 years ago. The tree that I planted took a few years to get established, but then shoots and branches began growing at odd angles. A few years ago, I had to prune a considerable amount of the tree to make it grow in the right direction. The following years, I pruned a little less. This year it looks good and is growing the way I want it to! However, if I don’t continue to watch it and prune off the odd branches, it will become unruly again, and the work of pruning more difficult.
Sometimes we have to take on massive pruning in our ministries and personal lives because things are convoluted or headed in the wrong direction. However, if we prune consistently by continuing to seek the Lord, taking stock of our lives and ministries, listening to the Lord’s voice and obeying Him (and especially taking care when things are going well), things are less likely to get overgrown and unfruitful. While we will still need to prune—because of our own sin and things beyond our control (hardship, the choices of others, etc.)—the tree will be healthy and the pruning less difficult and painful.