Dave and I hire someone to prune our trees, and there are times he has cut the branches back so far that I’ve said to him, “There is nothing left. You have totally destroyed our tree!” But he told me, “You just watch and see.” And sure enough, before long the tree is much better looking than it was before.
Just like trees need pruning from time to time to remove dead branches or areas where there is overgrowth, you and I need to be pruned or reshaped at different times in different areas of our lives.
In John 15:2 (AMP), Jesus says, 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].
Pruning is vitally important for us to grow in our walk with God. I’ve found it’s helpful to evaluate my life periodically and ask God to show me if there are things that need to be cut off because they are hindering my relationship with Him.
Ask yourself: Am I dragging around “dead branches” in my life? Maybe it’s a bad relationship, an old wound from your past, a negative attitude that keeps you from enjoying life to the fullest or anything you look to for a sense of security other than God Himself.
It would be nice if we could see what God sees and say, “Yes, God. Let’s get rid of that dead branch.” But many times we’re too afraid to give up what we know, what’s familiar, for something new that we just can’t see or understand.
The truth is you can be miserable dragging those dead things around or you can go through the pain of letting God “prune” them away. Even though it’s uncomfortable, the best thing you can do is let God prune you, because after the hard part is over, you will see some amazing results!
Abide in Jesus So You Can Bear Good Fruit
God loves you so much and He wants to do great things in you and through you. He wants to teach and train you to be kind and gentle, peaceful and patient, loving and forgiving like Him. But you can’t develop that “fruit” on your own.
In John 15:4, Jesus says, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
In other words, we need to spend time with God.
Our relationship with God is about much more than going to church on Sunday and reading the Word as a religious duty. He wants a close, personal, intimate relationship with each of us.
When we stay connected to God through meaningful Bible study and prayer, we’re abiding in Jesus. God wants us to be so rooted and grounded in His love that nothing can shake us—so we’re able to bear good fruit in even the hardest, most difficult seasons of life.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
In Philippians 3:13-14, the apostle Paul said, ...One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Make a determined decision to let go of the past and press on to experience a fuller, richer, more abundant life in Christ.
Pray today: “God, I’m tired of dragging this heavy load around with me. I’m ready to let it go so I can get on with my life and experience a closer relationship with You. Help me to remember that whatever You tell me to do, You will give me the ability to do it, and You always love me and have my best interest at heart. I trust You, Lord, to work everything out for my good.”
If we will totally give ourselves to God, He will give us His best for us. It may not be what we thought we wanted, but it will be exactly what we need. And it will be greater than anything we could have asked for!