Clearing Away The Stones

"I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard. My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up an cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit." Isaiah 5:1-2

Isaiah passionately loved the LORD. He sang a song for the One he loved. What is most extraordinary about this song is that it recognizes the labor our God has put into our salvation. God did not just have a vineyard and bless it unconditionally with bountiful crops. First, there was work to be done to prepare the way for growth. "he dug it up and cleared it of stones...." God did this work, we did not.

There will be stones in our vineyard if we do not allow this work of clearing to be accomplished in our lives. Do you feel spiritually stunted? God is expectantly looking for a "crop of good grapes." What is He finding in your life.  Is it yielding only "bad fruit?" This may be the case for all believers at times in their lives.  But, will we be like Isaiah and turn our eyes to the Worker of the field? Will we recognize that only He has the power to remove the stones from our lives? We need to ask Him to do this. We need to pray for clear vision to see the stones. We need to pray for a humble spirit to ask our Father for help in removing them.

Some stones are not visible from the surface. Are we willing to dig into the soil of our spiritual lives and search for things seemingly hidden? We have a job to do, too. We are to be good tenants of the vineyard He has given us.

In Matthew 21:38-43, Jesus speaks again of a vineyard. After the tenants had murdered two of the master's servants, the master sent his son instead, believing they would respect him:

"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 'Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,' they replied, 'and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.' Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?"

These tenants were rejecting the wrong stones. They were throwing out all the "Jesus" in their lives, selfishly reaping "fruit" for themselves. They allowed greed and hate to remain. If there are stones in our vineyard, I guarantee they are there because Satan has told us we "need" them. For some reason, we believe they are beneficial to us, that they will give us an "inheritance." The truth is, they will give us an inheritance, but it will not be one of life.  It will be death. Satan is a liar.  We only need one stone: The Cornerstone.

It is interesting to parallel these two pictures of vineyards in scripture. In Isaiah, the vineyard song speaks of stones that needed to be cleared away. In Matthew, Jesus speaks of the only stone that needs to stay in our lives. We must be keenly aware of what stones we are allowing to remain in our lives, and which we are rejecting. Jesus wants to remove all the stones that impede our spiritual growth. He then provides us with the cornerstone, the only stone we need to build up our spiritual house.

We can't forget what Peter said;

"You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." I Peter 2:5

What a beautiful picture Scripture gives us.

Where does this leave us? It leaves us with a stone inventory check. Is there a stone of greed in your vineyard? Ask Jesus to help you throw it out! Is there a stone of covetousness? Get rid of it. Is there a stone of resentment...unforgiveness...doubt There is no room for these stones. Give them a good send off in the powerful Name of Jesus! God knew we would have them. He has the power to clear them away by the power of the cross. We will not be put to shame! Praise Him! For in Scripture it says,

"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame." 1 Peter 2:6

by Jenna Masters