“He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” – John 15:2 (NLT)
“Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
“When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father.” – John 15:8
Pruning. In the Greek, it means to cleanse (see Strong’s Concordance, G2508). It is a cleansing of useless shoots, of those things in life that are no longer needed but are just taking up space. Those things that, in order for more, fresh fruit to be produced, they have to be cut off. Pruning seasons for believers can be such hard seasons, especially when the pruning is addressing things we thought we actually needed, or just didn’t want to let go of. They’re painful. But they are so needed and so rewarding when we allow the Lord to break those things away from our lives. And it’s not that those things were necessarily bad in every instance, but they simply can’t remain if more fruit is to grow.
Pruning includes people, places, things. It covers a spectrum of things honestly. And God, the Master Gardener, knows what/who needs to stay and what/who needs to go in each season of life. All we can do as His disciples is be yielded and willing to let Him do His work in us.
This concept is why it is so incredibly important to be in tune with the Lord. Why discernment in every season is so important. If we understand and realize what the Lord is doing in our lives in each season, then the pruning comes more easily, and we are more yielded to Him. But if we lack yieldedness, if we lack understanding, then we end up wrestling with the Lord and prolonging the necessary pruning.
The pruning is the continuation of God’s evident grace in our lives. He doesn’t just leave us where we are, but He takes us deeper and deeper into His glory and Kingdom.