2018-03: You Crown the Year - Thoughts on calling & culling in 2018
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“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 belindatigellministries.com. 
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Other Blogs
* JUBILEE album blog - Why Jubilee
* JUBILEE album blog 2 - The Year of Jubilee
* JUBILEE album blog 3 - Child of Promise (Gal 4)
* JUBILEE album blog 4 - Meant to Be (Eph 1:17-19a)
* JUBILEE album blog 5 - RIDER (Scriptures from Revelation)
* Somebody Find Me - the story behind the song for RUOK Day
2010-10: A God to be Known
2010-11: With My God, I Can!
2011: Is It Clear? -- Thinking About What We Sing About At Christmas
2011-04: The Choice to Choose
2011-06: Wooing and Pursuing Love
2011-11: The Cry
2012-01: Waiting For My Fish to Come In
2012-03: Bless the Lord, Extol Him Forever
2012-06: Motivate Me
2012-09: Jesus, The Renovator
2012-11: THROUGH to get TO
2013-01: Contemplations and Commitments
2013-04: To Obey is Better than Sacrifice
2013-06: Shaken & Stirred
2013-09: Faith in the Valley of the Mundane
2013-12: Be With & Behold HIM
2013-12: Christmas Thoughts - BEING & BEHOLDING
2014-04: Do You Hear What I Hear?
2014-06: Good Advice; Godly Wisdom
2015-03: The Great Pain Reliever - Notes from the road #JubileeCD #albumtour
2015-06: Live Loved
2015-10: An Afar Off Promise
2015-12: Mary Meditations (Reflections for Advent)
2016-02: "Dis'ing" the "Dis"
2016-04: Reacting in Fear or Responding in Faith
2016-07: Just Travelling Through
2016-09: God Around The Edges
2016-11: Looking Back, Looking Forward
2017-03: What to Wear!? - Part 1
2017-06: What to Wear?! Part 2
2017-10: Prayer Worrying OR Prayer Warrior?
2017-12: ADVENT Thoughts 1 - What is Advent?
2017-12: ADVENT Thoughts 2 - O Come O Come Emmanuel - Part A: Emmanuel
2017-12: ADVENT Thoughts 3 - O Come O Come Emmanuel - Part B: Branch of Jesse & The Key of David
2017-12: ADVENT Thoughts 4 - O Come O Come Emmanuel - Part C: Our Light, Lord, Wisdom and Might
2018-06: Embracing Mystery
2018-06: Lyrics to the hymn "I Cannot Tell"
2018-11: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger