March 17, 2006

Recently in prayer, I had a vivid vision where the Lord showed me a large tree. The tree wasn’t very tall, but it’s branches were long and hung down to the ground. There was fruit hanging off of almost every inch of the tree. As I watched, the hand of the Lord came down and grabbed the trunk of the tree. He shook the tree so violently that almost all the fruit fell to the ground. This fruit that fell to the ground quickly withered and turned black. I looked back up at the tree and only a few pieces of fruit remained. Everything that Can be Shaken The Lord has been speaking to me and many others that the Church is in a time of shaking, pruning and forming. I want to quote a rather lengthy portion of scripture from the book of Hebrews. I believe we can obtain some vital truth for this present time from the keys in this text. Hebrews 12 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." 27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming As sons and daughters, at times we must endure the chastening of the Lord. Today, many believers are finding themselves in a place where everything that can be shaken is being shaken. In other words, those things which have been built by hands are being shaken away so that only that which God has built remains. We must humble ourselves under the hand of God, in order to have the world shaken off of us so that we can be reformed into what we need to be. This season is going to position the Church for the coming move of God. "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time," 1 Peter 5:6 Pruning "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." John 15:1-8 The Lord spoke to me and said, "As I prune the branches, they become closer to the vine. This is the only way to bear fruit. You will lose fruit in the process, but this is not My fruit." Many individuals, churches and ministries over the years have accumulated fruit that has been brought about by the hands of man. We are being pruned back so this fruit can fall away and the fruit which the Vine brings can come forth. Much of the pruning also has to do with character and motives. Many people might find themselves broken like never before. The Lord told me that He was whittling me down to my simplest form. Pride is being dealt with and that is why it is so important to humble ourselves and submit to the pruning. If we abide in the Vine, we have nothing to fear. A Timeframe? I believe this shaking will come to some regions and areas of ministry before others. Many are already experiencing it. Eventually, if we humble ourselves, the pruning and shaking will cease, but will begin and continue in other regions and areas. I believe the entire process will take at least another year across the Body of Christ. Like all prophetic words, we have a part to play. I believe we can both extend and shorten the time of shaking. I thank God that through the chastening, we can still be confident that He will never leave or forsake us and that His glory is coming to the earth like never before.