Painful Cut Backs
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. John 15:1-2
Our calendar can become cluttered with good causes that have run their course. As painful as it might be to stop engaging in an activity, this is the Spirit’s cycle of simplifying our schedule. We learn to go deeper with fewer opportunities. What’s even harder is disrupting a co-worker's life. A person on the team may have lost their fire to execute the mission of the organization. Just as dead wood in the branches of a tree need to be cleared out, so from time to time we have to cut back those who underperform to make room for productive people. Painful cut backs create new life.
Ultimately, our heavenly Father is the gardener who gives life by pruning a life. He understands the bigger picture of His will, so His lofty goal is our oneness with His heart. In His loving, gentle and merciful manner He removes distractions so we can refocus on His faithfulness. A person who leads us away from our heavenly Father will eventually be led away by our loving heavenly Father. Relational pruning is necessary if anyone competes with our devotion to Jesus. Painful cut backs, even away from well meaning people, positions us for abundant fruit bearing.
“Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).
Are you in the middle of a painful pruning process? Do you struggle to understand the purpose of your loss? If so, ask the Lord to show you His bigger picture. Trust Him to give you strength and perseverance to remain faithful during this purging process. Let the comfort of the Holy Spirit take you into the depths of God’s grace you have yet to experience. Indeed, as Christ does serious soul work within He is preparing you for even greater works without. In our pain our heavenly Father gains more of us and we gain more of Him. Painful loss leads us to the Lord.
Most of all remain in vibrant connection with the true vine, Jesus. We allow Him to rejuvenate our faith by His life giving grace. The spiritual sustenance we need to sustain us comes only from Jesus. Other artificial vines vie for our attention but self-effort is woefully inefficient. Just like a branch does not need more effort to draw from the vine, so we wisely stay infused by the life of Christ. The Lord of life is Lord over our life. Though painful at times, we humbly stay submitted to His will. The more our self is pruned back, the more abundant His spiritual fruit.
“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock” (Psalm 92:14-15).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, prune back the dead wood of my doubts and grow in its place Your life giving grace.
Related Readings: Psalm 80:8-11; Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 3:8; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9
Post/Tweet today: Pruning is necessary when anyone or anything competes with our devotion to Jesus. #wisdomhunters