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You Crown the Year - Thoughts on calling and culling in 2018

“You have crowned the year with Your bounty,
and Your paths drip with fatness.”
Psalm 65:11 NASB 

This verse played over in my mind as the pages leafed over from 2017 to 2018. 

Doesn’t that sound deliciously delightful?! Crowns, goodness, bounty, the picture of a dripping overflow — all imagery that is very rich, positive and encouraging. The Lord then pulled my attention to John 15 — the vine and the branches teaching of Jesus. He reminded me that in order to increase in fruitfulness there are times in our lives that we must undergo some pruning. 

All too often in our busy world, we just keep adding things. Add another obligation. Add another responsibility. Another activity. Another expense. Another worry. It’s interesting the number of posts online or stories on TV home improvement shows I’ve seen recently about the subject of decluttering — that, and living as a minimalist. I think that this focus is timely. It is needful. 

Our consumerist culture fills cupboards, schedules, wardrobes, and lives with stuff — events, activities, possessions, people, accoutrements. It can be quite a merry-go-round! And in all that stuff, our souls get stuffed — convoluted, confused and controlled. We don’t enjoy the richness of what we have because life is too crowded, often with things we don’t really need anymore. Even if at one time they may have served a purpose, they no longer do so, yet we are reticent to throw them out, to cut them off, to cease to be bound in obligation to them. 

The bounty talked about in Psalm 65 is not merely the stuff of...well...mere stuff. It’s the stuff that comes from being filled with the fullness of God — or, as Ephesians 3:19b puts it, “...that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God, so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself." [AMP]

“Oh yes please!” is our souls cry. Living fulfilled and fruitfully. Living purposefully. Living expectantly, and joyfully. 

Subsequently, we enjoy the results and rewards that flow from such living, all of which can manifest in a range of ways — physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physiologically. As a consequence of this fullness that comes from living in and through our Emmanuel, our lives overflow, causing us to be a blessing to the world in which we live, and we indeed find that His “paths drip with fatness” as we go forth in Him.

But I wonder, as I consider the story in John 15, what might need to be culled in us, in order for there to be room for the fullness of God, and the fullness of life He wants us to experience? 

The vine and the branches story shows us that in order to grow, a seasonal pruning session is required. Yes, sometimes there are aspects of life that need to be either cut back, or cut out of our lives — be they habits, obligations, worries, certain relationships (or ways of relating), pathways of thinking, or priorities. What aspects of life has He been trying to bring to your attention, showing it’s time for some pruning? 

And then perhaps there are things the Lord is wanting to graft into our lives — a new perspective, understanding or attitude, or a rearranging of priorities, that our lives couldn’t previously contain because those old things were clogging us up and diminishing that growth. Are there new ventures to undertake which we’ve previously felt intimidated by? New opportunities to examine? New friendships (or a refreshed role within relationships) to develop? A new course in which to study and train? A new place, project or position to explore?

My question for myself going forward this year, and subsequently, the question I also propose to you is: What is the Lord wanting us to prune from our lives, and what is He wanting to add to our lives in 2018? 

It’s going to be a ‘drippingly’ good year in Him, as we allow Him to call us and cull us as He desires.

Belinda Tigell is an Australian singer-songwriter, speaker-teacher, worship leader and author. Find her regular blogs on 
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