"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. (John 15:1-2 NKJV)
Pruning. Tree experts know the importants of the process. They cut off seemingly healthy branches of a tree in order for the tree to grow stronger and fuller, bearing more fruit than before. It seems strange to me that the process works, but it does.
Jesus uses a similar metaphor with a grapevine and applies it to our lives. When we are in His will, bearing fruit (good character, soul-winning, edifying the body of Christ) for Him, we will get pruned from time to time. When God sees that we are doing some things right, he starts cutting away some of the excess "branches" in our lives to make way for His master plan - a bigger plan - to unfold. He removes some of the good in our lives - a ministry, a relationship, a hobby - to give us time for the best He wants us to achieve. It is not very fun to get pruned. However, the long-term effects are worth it.
Keep in mind that being pruned by God is equivalent to being disciplined by God. While both may involve some pain, pruning is not accompanied by a sin in our lives needing to be eliminated. If you are going through a painful time, ask God to reveal to you an area in which you need to change. If God doesn't reveal one to you, you may be in the pruning process. Thank Him for His faithfulness in trusting you to participate in His plan and stay close to Him. He will reveal the bigger picture one step at a time.
For further thought:
- What is God trying to prune away from your life?
- What are you trying to hold on to that might be keeping you from God's greater plan for your life?
- Do you have a Life Purpose Statement?
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.