If we are honest there are times when we view God as our cosmic provider. We think if we pray and have faith in a certain way then He will give us what we want. We all know that is a drastically wrong view of God. His purpose is not to give us everything we want but to give us everything we need. He gives us everything we need with the ultimate purpose of conforming us to the image of His Son. In John 15:1-2 we are likened to grape vines that the vinedresser is tending. We are the vine and God is the vinedresser. We see from this text the purposeful end result will be for us to bear much fruit, (John 15:1-2). In order for us to bear much fruit the vinedresser is pruning us and pruning might hurt.
In this journey there will be times that He is going to allow us to be hurt.
John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
Have there been times in our lives where the Divine Gardner has cut everything out of our lives except our relationship with Him? We have probably not recognized it as pruning because it was a relationship failure, a job termination, a removal from a church leadership position, an illness, or maybe a dream that hit a dead end.
The wounds of this divine pruning force us to pay attention to our relationship with God. In these experiences we find that He is all we have as He strengthens our connection to Him the vine. He softens our hearts and delights in our growth; as we go on to produce a greater harvest of spiritual fruit.
Do we remember the last time the Lord pruned us and cut us down to the nub? How did we respond to the pain of the wound? If we embrace His pruning and are submitted to the process we can produce an abundance of fruit to His glory. In essence, whatever He has cut back was something we needed to lose.
God’s purpose for us is to bear fruit, and in order to be fruitful, we must submit to pruning. We must remember the Pruner is always good. He tells us we will bear the beautiful fruit of becoming more like Christ. When we resist the pruning we are really fighting back and, in essence, refusing to glorify God, and therefore thwarting the purpose of our existence.
We can trust Him; He has been pruning for a lot of years, He does know what He is doing. We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Himself submitted to the divine wounding. God the Father allowed and destined His Son to be wounded for the greater glory.
Praise God that Jesus endured the pain of divine wounding for the glory that would follow. It is hard to comprehend such love for sinners as wretched as ourselves. But we can worship the One who loved us so much He wounded His only Son that by those wounds we would be cleansed, forgiven, and healed. We can submit ourselves to the beloved Son who Himself submitted to God’s wounding.
In submitted obedience we find hope and joy as His Word remains in us and finds a home in our hearts. Our joy is found in obedience. May we prayerfully draw near (John 15:7) walking, knowing, bending to His will, and knowing who we are before Him, (John 17:23).
We learn three things in abiding:
- We will be pruned to bear more fruit
- We find our hope and joy in obedience to Him as His Word remains in us and find its home in our hearts
- We will prayerfully draw near to Him walking, knowing, bending to His will, and finding who we are before Him (John 17:23).
Do you recognize the Divine pruning when it is happening and ask God to strengthen and grow you in the journey or are you getting angry and shaking your fist at God asking why me? Do you find the Word a reassuring comfort to you in the midst of the trial helping you to have assurance that God is with you and will give you what you need each step of the way? Where do you find your heart most resisting God’s will for you? Take some time to examine your heart before the Lord and draw closer to Him.