Faith Filled Thoughts
July 22, 2008
By Connie Ciccone
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THE PRUNING EXPERIENCE
Scripture: John 15:2 "Every branch that beareth fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
"Jesus spoke comforting words to us concerning the purging and pruning process that happens in our lives. When God begins to purge or prune you, it is a sign of two things. First, it is a sign that you are already a fruit-bearing branch because Jesus said, "Every branch that is bearing fruit He purges it." Second, it is a sign that He is preparing you to "bring forth more fruit." God is not happy with just "fruit," He wants "more fruit." As we watch the gardener prune the shrubs just before Spring we often wonder if the shrubs will be able to return, for it seems they are left hopeless and bare. But it is all a part of God's plan, for it is only in the pruning that new strength and life can be gained. So it is with your spiritual life. God cuts away and separates you from the things that are unnecessary. Sometimes it's things that you really enjoy or friendships that you don't want to give up. But the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God leads you to lay those relationships aside and follow God in a closer walk. Other times you feel the pain of His pruning shears through trials and tribulations that separate you from your own selfish desires.
God sees your future and knows the work that He wants to produce in your life. He also knows just how much to cut away so that you can produce more fruit. Verse three says that He convicts and cleanses you through the Word that He speaks to you. Hebrews 4:12 says, "The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." His word goes right to your spirit and heart and prunes away all that would leave you stunted.
You are only left to yourself and not pruned when God does not expect you to bear any more fruit. Sometimes you may see your hopes and dreams fade away as He prunes your life, but "His ways and thoughts are much higher than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). He has a good plan in mind and He wants to enlarge your borders. At the moment, all that you can see is the purging, and all that you can feel is the pain, but God sees a productive season and a fuller life ahead for you. He envisions the fruit that you will bear so don't be discouraged. Remember that in every pruning experience, you have this assurance that your loving Father is the one who is holding the pruning shears!
May He Bless You and Keep You Today!
With Great Love
IN HIS SERVICE