Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit- John 15:2
I hear it said all the time, “Pastor, I feel like ever since I started walking with God, things have gone from bad to worse. I don’t understand, ‘What God is doing to me’?” I always reply, “He is putting you through the ‘Purging Promise’.”
John 15, Jesus reminds those who follow him that the only way to bear fruit is to continue with him. He tells us that if we will continue walking with him every day, we will bear fruit. He also promises us when we begin bearing fruit that he will begin “purging” us. The Greek word for “purge” is kathairo. It means, “to prune.” Jesus says “Child of God, when you begin to bear fruit, I am going to prune you.” Now, to me that seems harsh and backward. Shouldn’t you prune something that is dead, lifeless, and fruitless? Why would you prune something that is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing? I mean, isn’t a branch supposed to bear fruit? Yes! So why take the sharp shears and start causing it pain by cutting on it? Well, a seasoned gardener knows that every fruit bearing branch on the same branch that bears fruit will also have some non-fruit bearing offshoots and those offshoots extract nutrients from the fruit bearing parts of the branch. The vinedresser knows by cutting away the useless parts, it will allow the useful parts to be more productive because it is gathering more nutrition. So pruning is purposeful even though it is painful.
Child of God, I know the pruning of God is painful. It has never felt good to be hurt. When the Spirit reveals the fruitless aspects of our soul and begins cutting it can be difficult to bear, but if we will allow him to shear away what shouldn’t be there, it will only open the channel for more nourishment to flow to the fruitful aspects of our spirit. So today, yield your life to the Heavenly Vinedresser and say, “Prune away what isn’t fruitful for you so that what is fruitful might increase for your glory.”