The Lord's Pruning
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. ~John 15:2
Pruning is a vital aspect of successful gardening and fruit production. Careful inspection must be made to determine if there are dead branches or “sucker growth” that hinder the branches of a plant or tree from bringing forth the best and most abundant supply of fruit. Once this counterproductive growth has been identified, the skilled farmer or gardener prunes the tree or plant. In a similar fashion, the Lord does spiritual pruning in the lives of His people in order to maximize our fruit-bearing ability.
We see a requirement.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” The first thing we see is our relationship in the Lord. He requires that we have a constant, close, and copious relationship. We are to bring forth fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. The second thing we see is the need for us to be completely dependent upon Him in order to be fruitful. He says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Hudson Taylor said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”
We see a removal.
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away....” An unfruitful branch is one that is not drawing supply from the vine. A skilled husbandman will watch this branch over a long period of time. Eventually, he removes it because it is not bearing fruit. This reminds me of what Jesus told the church at Ephesus when it had left its first love for Him. He told them that that if they did not repent, He would remove their candlestick. God removes our influence, our privileges, our power, and in some cases, our presence here if we are lacking fruit over a long period of time in our lives.
We see the reduction.
“Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it.” Now remember, the husbandman is constantly reviewing and inspecting his vines. Dead branches, twigs, and sucker growth impede a good vine. In a similar way, sins and weights that easily beset us hinder our productivity. Sometimes, we mistakenly allow good things to replace the great things, and we do not have the availability to be fruitful. Sometimes, a bad attitude or bad spirit impedes our effectiveness. Other times, it might be slothfulness or a lack of faith in Him. Whatever it might be, the Lord desires to enhance our effectiveness for Him by cutting away at undesirable growth.
We see the result.
“...He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Pruning results in more fruit! When the Lord purges our life, this is so that we have maximized effectiveness. The Lord desires our life to have optimal fruit-bearing ability. When we read John 15:7-8, we realize that abiding in the Lord is being obedient to His Word and doing what He commands us to do. This, in concert with right praying, results in unhindered answers to prayer. The Lord is glorified when we bear much fruit. When we study this colorful metaphor concerning pruning, we understand the love and carefulness that God exercises with our life. Let the Lord carefully examine you for pruning so that you are more fruitful for Him.
Have a fruitful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Samuel 16-18