Last weekend I was blessed to be a part of an awesome women’s conference. The theme of the conference was “Pruned for Purpose” from John 15:1-5. As I studied about the pruning process from a horticultural standpoint, I began to understand the deeper spiritual meaning of pruning in the life of a believer. By definition, pruning is the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Plants are pruned to remove dead wood or to shape them in order to improve or maintain their overall health and to reduce the risk from falling branches. Pruning entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crops and landscape plants. The general rule of pruning is to always cut in a location where growth will occur.
Often when we talk about pruning in a spiritual sense, we focus on deletion or something being taken away. But pruning is as much about direction as it is about deletion. God doesn’t just want to cut away what’s not conducive to your growth. He also inserts things that will direct your growth.
Do you feel like you’re being pruned by God? If so, I want to share a few lessons I learned about pruning that will help you in this season.
God only prunes people who have the capacity to produce. If you weren’t producing he would cut you away. John 15:2 says that the Vinedresser (God) cuts away every branch that does not bear fruit.
Pruning is God’s way of indicating that you can produce on a higher level. God is pruning you because He knows you can do more! The latter half of John 15:2 says, “…and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
Too often in the pruning process we focus on what we lost, who left or what was taken away, which makes the pruning process feel like it’s more about punishment, when it’s really about promotion. God’s deletion is for your promotion!
There is purpose in your pain. If God didn’t omit suffering, betrayal and denial in the fulfillment of His Son’s purpose, what makes you think you’ll walk in purpose without some pain?
God will often use your pain to allow you to minister to people who’ve been hurt like you. As your pain pushes you to purpose, you may find yourself ministering to the person who hurt you.
God knows where you are and what season you’re in. Pruning is performed in the driest season, so don’t despise your season. It’s needed so that the place of pruning remains conducive for growth.
God knows the tools that your need in your next season. He also knows the emotions you need to have control over and the scars that need to be healed before you arrive there. Your next level is the time to start practicing what you’ve perfected.
Endure the pruning, and no matter what stay connected to the vine. In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
Apart from the vine, the branches are nothing more than sticks. Stay connected to the vine. Christ can make you green, full of life, fruitful and useful to God and man.