In another time of prayer, Wendy received a vivid picture in her mind. It was a huge vine with branches growing wildly in many directions, full of leaves and some with fruit. Then the Lord clearly spoke a single word: Prune.
This principle is found in John 15:2, “every branch that bears fruit, He prunes that it may bear more fruit.” And this is what He directed us to do.
Seeing what we could not, the Lord knew that the survival of the vine and the health of future fruit necessitated major pruning. So we did as He asked, and in counsel with our Board and advisors, began to prune. And we pruned. And then we pruned some more!
It required faith in God to take such steps. But what a thrill it was to grow in dependence upon the Vinedresser, yielding our uncertainties and inexperience to His tender yet bold directives.
The result of His years of pruning enabled World MAP to streamline, economize and refocus with even greater intensity on our primary mission in ways we could have never anticipated.
We continue to this day to offer our plans to the Lord, and ask that He direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9). When we now consider what would have been lost of God’s Kingdom purposes had we not obeyed – and instead what has been gained in the last 20 years because we have – we are so very grateful for His wisdom and grace.
Milestone #2: Always do what the Lord says, when He says it, and the way He says to do it; and do nothing apart from Him and His clear Word of direction. Seek to obey the Lord in everything and depend upon Him for everything – every single day!
There are many principles in Scripture that, when applied, result in fruitful ministry. But there is one that is particularly meaningful for us. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1Cor 4:12).
There are a lot of things we may not do well; there are gifts and talents that we do not possess. But one thing we have done consistently: we have sought to remain faithful to God and His call.
There is much to be said for simply showing up every day and being diligent to do your best. Through the challenges and opposition; in the trials and heartaches; in the joys and victories; in spite of weakness or inability – just keep showing up, available to God for His purposes. And do you know what? He can do great things with that!
HE IS FAITHFUL
Whether the responsibility or opportunity is large or small, the Christ-follower is to strive to be found faithful (Matthew 25:21; Hebrews 3:3-6) – faithful to God and His Word, and faithful to do what He asks.
Of course, our faithfulness simply aligns us with the Faithful One, Who then shows Himself strong and does great exploits through those who are loyal, present and available (2 Chronicles 16:9).