God speaks to me in my every day experiences. Today I’m in the garden wacking at the daisy bushes and long grasses in my back yard. It brought to mind the teaching of Jesus as the Gardner that uproots the non-bearing fruit tree and prunes the growing, living tree so it can produce more fruit. Then I had this conversation with my Teacher:
me: Prune me! What are you lopping off when you prune?
Teacher:. Anything that was once born out of relationship with Me but became a habit, a schedule or requirement you kept that I didn’t make for you. When you felt bad and judged yourself lacking because you failed in keeping your duty I didn’t make for you. I never judged you. All your sin was covered at the cross. I prune anything that does not breathe life and joy and freedom from the tyranny of the flesh and comes between Me and you.
Me: Which brings me to the topic of carrying my cross and following You. That has always been something viewed by the church as a self abuse that You seem to condone, even require if we’re going to achieve status in heaven, like the prophets of old who were despised and murdered for just speaking Your mind. That seems to fly in the face of life, joy and freedom, doesn’t it? I want to cringe when I think of it.
Teacher: (laughing) That’s your flesh talking. When I died on the cross I nailed your flesh on it. I rose up from the dead but your flesh is on that cross. I want you to consider yourself dead to your fresh, that part of you that demands satisfaction Now. I want much better for you. I want you to grow in love and patience and peace and joy. I want your heart to rest in your trusting that I always have your back and you can trust me to deliver on my promises. I have big plans and huge opportunities for you that only I can pull off if you will ignore the whining from your flesh on the cross and listen to my voice.
Me:. So, taking up my cross and following you is a good thing. Better is one day in you courts, better is one day in your house, better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.
Teacher: (laughing with a big grin). That’s my song about you!