I'm not much of a gardener, but this spring I've learned the value of pruning the trees and shrubs in my flower beds. I hadn't done it before, so I was a little surprised at the results. I'm sure there's some scientific explanation for the necessity of pruning. If I had to guess, I'd say that the withering flowers and branches are consuming nutrients and basically robbing the healthy foliage of the nutrition it needs.
It's the same with us.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
God wants to cut out the parts of our lives that are draining us...where we are dead spiritually.
What does He need to prune from our lives? Perhaps
- Sin that poisons the fruit that marks us as children of the King
- Attitudes that don't line up with Scripture
- Misconceptions of who He is
- Thinking it's all about me
- Actions that don't glorify Him
- Choices made that don't consider His plan
Cutting the dead portions of a tree or shrub is understandable, because we can see that it needs to be done. What's harder to grasp is cutting healthy parts of the plant in order for the entire plant to flourish. Oftentimes, there are good things in our lives that need to go because they keep us from bearing the fruit that He intends for us to bear. We see the good and get complacent, not realizing that pruning will bring incredibly sweet fruit to be savored.
What good things in our lives need to be cut out? Perhaps
- Too many outside commitments
- A ministry He's not called us to
- Worldly possessions