Matthew 3 - The Winnower
Updated: 3 days ago
In Matthew chapter 2 we saw evidence of the dualistic nature of spiritual life - middle ground is merely an illusion. Here in chapter 3, there is either wheat or chaff - and the Lord is the winnower Who sifts them.
A friend once said, "The Lord is always looking for fruit". These days, I realise, that this looking is not passive. Rather, the Lord is actively working the trees, branches, shoots, towards that fruitfulness. He is cutting away the fleshly from the authentically spiritual in our lives. He brings forth growth and flourishment partly by cutting back the extraneous and dead growth of the flesh. "My Father is the Vinedresser ... He prunes..", said Jesus (John 15:1,2). For His desire is to see fuitfulness.
His tender care, through the rain of His Spirit and the feeding by His words of truth and kindness, brings nurture to the planting. But the flesh must be progressively pruned down and out, for, in flesh, death and sin find life. However, as I understand it, God will only remove such stuff where a willing heart is found. The Lord is looking for fruit - He finds pleasure in its abundance. His delight is perhaps the greatest reason to pursue fruitfulness in our lives.
So, what might the winnowing fork of the Spirit be saying to us today? What needs to be cut back? What needs to be nurtured and to grow? Which habits and traits need either curtailing or strengthening? We each are a planting of the Lord (Isaiah 61:3). We bring pleasure to the Father, the One Who is always looking for fruit. What fruit will I present before Him today? Prayer suggestion: Here I am Lord, I have come to do Your will (Hebrews 10:9).