TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:2 ESV
ABIDING IS PRUNING
An old mountain man came to visit a friend who had moved into the city. The mountain man had never laid eyes on a train or even seen a railroad track. In the middle of the tracks one day, he heard a distant whistle… WOOOO–ooo—OOOOO! He didn’t know what it was or the danger that was involved. All of a sudden—wham…. He was hit! Luckily it was just a side swipe, and he was thrown clear, head over heels off the tracks, and escaped with only minor injuries, a few broken bones, and some bruises. After weeks in the hospital recovering, he went to visit a friend’s house for dinner. While he was standing in the kitchen he heard the rising whistle of the tea kettle on the stove. He quickly jumped into action. He grabbed a rolling pin and mercilessly pounded the tea kettle. His friend heard the commotion and rushed into the kitchen. His friend asked, “Why did you do that? The mountain man replied: “Believe me from experience, you gotta kill these critters while they are still small.”
When God begins to grow us, He will act in such a way to remove anything that stands in the way or slows down that growth. This is often best done while it’s still small. A good vinedresser knows exactly when, where and how to prune to not damage but produce more fruit. God also knows when, where and how to prune us so He doesn’t damage us but produce more fruit through us.
John 15:2 reminds us that the ministry of spiritual pruning is performed on every branch. God is not punishing us when He is pruning us. Pruning may hurt for a moment but the truth is pruning is a sign we belong to God and He is at work in our lives. One of the worst things God could do to us is to leave us alone and let us have our own way. How have you sensed God pruning you lately? Is there anything or anyone in your life that is stealing your spiritual energy or pulling you away from the fruit bearing work of God’s Spirit? Ask God to help you trust His pruning process and not resist what He is trying to grow in you.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)