[musings from the manse]
Continuing to reflect upon what does it mean to grow in Christ by bearing fruit in our lives as followers.
The third aid to us growing good fruit is pruning.
When you come to garden that has been a bit let go, extensive pruning is important. Getting rid of dead branches, giving space to let others grow. Giving shape. Allowing plants to flourish and not be stressed. Pruning is important.
Pruning is something Jesus talks about in John 15:1-2:
“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.”
Pruning is an action of God in our lives and it is not about pointing out that which we do not like in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
God prunes us to ensure that there will be as much fruit as possible. He cuts off dry and withered branches, things of our past, sinful tendencies.
However, God also prunes to ensure that certain aspects of our lives grow more fully. God maybe will prune out previous things he has called us to do; things that are good but not about where he wants us to be at the moment.
If a plant puts all its energy into producing all the fruit it can, those fruits may be good, but they will be smaller. Sometimes a gardener will cut out some of the fruits when they start growing so that the energy that would be used in their development will go into the development of the other fruit.
It is easy to spread ourselves thin as followers of Jesus, trying to do everything, rather than what God is calling us to do in whatever situation we find ourselves. We need to listen closely to God as to where there are things that, although good, maybe need to be pruned out of our lives, so that other aspects will flourish.
Lockdown may be a good time for us to hear God more clearly as to what we should be cutting out of our lives: those things we have been doing that our detrimental to our spiritual health. Those roles we have held onto because we feel they need to be done, not because we feel God is calling us to do them. Those patterns of sinful behaviour that have become ingrained and need to be rooted out by God.
Come to God and ask him to prune your life, and he will do it with grace and compassion, because he longs for you to flourish and grow.
To grow good fruit, we need to let God prune us.
Yours in Christ
All bible quotations from Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.