Pruning seems to have very negative connotations so we tend to avoid it, right? Maybe occasional pruning is tolerable but as a way of life? No way. Yet I have started to change my mind about pruning. It has to do with reading John 15 again and again. Only dead branches are removed, the rest are cleansed. So pruning isn’t a punishment after all. Instead, pruning is grace. It’s a blessing. How come?
“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 continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. (John 15:1-2, AMP,*)
Our spiritual life depends on grace. Entirely. We are not alive without abiding in Jesus. But God wants even more for us than just being alive, he wants us to be fruitful. And not just a little bit fruitful, but super fruitful with even richer and finer fruit. God wants our lives to be abundant. Not by our own effort but by God’s grace. And that’s why he wants to prune us: to show us more of his love and grace, to show us how glorious life in him truly is.
Pruning is grace
Indeed, pruning is grace so I find my self saying ‘yes, please’. Because I want to experience more of God’s grace and I do want to be more fruitful. How about you? What do you think? How does modern-day spiritual pruning look like?
Francis Chan has said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” And those things in life that don’t really matter -distractions if you will-, need to be pruned back so we can grow spiritually and bear more fruit. This does not mean that joy is canceled. Quite the contrary. But it means we need to stop settling for anything less than real joy and real purpose.
Pruning is grace towards us. So let’s welcome it. God’s intention is to make us better, holier, happier. I have signed for the process. God is making me more of me, the way I was intended to be. He is ready to do the same for you. How do you respond?
Forgive us for we have tried to avoid pruning.
You’re not trying to punish us but to bless us.
We welcome your pruning, your grace.
Make us what you want us to be.
We cling to Jesus and thank you for making us spiritually alive.
Show us what’s important and what’s not.
Enable us to bear more and richer fruit.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you feel about pruning?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you allow God to prune you according to his plan for you!