John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit” (New Century Version).
John 25: 4 “Remain in Jesus, and He will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in Jesus” (Paraphrased of New Century Version).
I have a special tree in my garden, in order to protect my tree, I need to prune it; I feel the tree needs to be trimmed. How I wish my special tree can actually remind me that it needs to be trimmed.
Why do I actually need to prune this tree? Some of the reasons why I need to prune my special tree:
· To remove branches that may be impeding its growth
· To reduce its height
· To remove damaged branches
· To permit new growth
· To shape the tree so that it will fit perfectly for the garden.
Now I know the underlying principle behind trimming trees but the question again is how do I trim my tree?
Do I need a gardener or a vine-dresser? If I was to trim my tree independently, do I start from the stem, the branch side? Hmmm... I have no idea.
Also, which tools do I require? Surely it’s important to use the right tools so that my tree can be trimmed appropriately, and to prevent harming my tree.
Where do I start from? I might need to hire a vine-dresser or a gardener to prune my special tree. The gardener or vine-dresser is likely to trim it exceptionally well; but then I hope I will be able to recognise my tree after it has been pruned, as my tree is distinct.
Like this special tree needs pruning, we Christians also need to be trimmed by Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the vine-dresser that prunes us. The Bible says in John 15:1-8 that, Jesus Christ is the best vine-dresser to prune us (His children). He knows the best way to trim us individually, allowing new growth and for us to flourish.
Jesus Christ prunes things that are not positives in our lives. He prunes our anger, our temper, our bitterness, our impatience, pride and sins that usually entangle us.
The scripture says in Hebrews 12:1b that “We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back”.
We must ALLOW Jesus to remove those dead branches, those things that are not making us ready for various growths and those things that may be obstructing us from living a life that is pleasing to God totally.
Is Pruning easy?
From experience, going through the pruning process is not easy even if we know that, it is for our own benefit and for God’s glory. Whilst God is pruning us, it is sometimes difficult to accept the pruning, sometimes one may want to be stubborn and act as if one does not need pruning.
I myself, I am currently going through God’s pruning. The pruning is not easy, especially if you have some habits that you have been struggling to stop.
Nonetheless, the Bible wants us to count it all joy when we are being pruned, as the outcome builds our faith, teaches us patience, which as a result enables us to be made perfect and complete in Christ (James 1:2-4 Paraphrased).
How does God prune us?
1) God prunes us through the Holy Spirit. The scripture says in John 16:13a that “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth” (New Century Version). Therefore, the Holy Spirit will teach us the truth and directs our minds.
2) God also prunes us through the Word of God (Bible) - God prunes us through the Word of God spoken whilst we are in church, whilst we listen to sermon online, whilst we read Christian blog, amongst others.
God’s Word is so powerful that, through His Word, His Word broadens our knowledge about the right things, gives us the right instructions, changes our thoughts and the intents of our heart.
No wonder the scripture says in Hebrews 4: 12 that “God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts” (New Century Version).
3) God also prunes us through the trials, challenges, sufferings, corrections from God, amongst others. The outcomes of trials, challenges, sufferings usually increase our strength and perhaps remove lack of patience, worrying, anger, amongst others away.
Did you know that, even Jesus Christ was also pruned?
The book of Hebrews 5:8 says that, “Even though Jesus was the Son of God, he learned obedience by what he suffered" (New Century Version).
Are you asking yourself: why do I need to be pruned?
- So far, I have noticed that, the pruning process that I am experiencing is building my character, its allowing me to continue to have godly character in relation to the fruits of the Spirit. God wants to prune us so as to become like Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:10).
- Are you allowing God to prune you? Do not resist God’s pruning, the pruning will make you a better person. Through pruning, we change inwardly, which will also allow our actions to change.
- Before we can serve God genuinely and rightly, we must be pruned by the Lord Jesus Christ, who through the pruning moulds our character into His and He develops His strength in us so that we can serve Him.
Say this short prayer
Heavenly Father! Thank you for today. I lift myself to you today. I want to be made perfect in you. Please, remove things that are not pleasing to you in my life. I know that, I sometimes struggle with characters that majority of people are not aware of. Please replace the ‘not so nice’ characters that I have with godly characters in JESUS NAME!
Be sociable and share this post
Photo credit: ourshelteringtree.blogspot.com