Jul14SunPastor Mike Knoll July 14, 2019
Something very noticeable is happening today in the Body of Christ—the painful process of pruning. I am feeling the sharp knife of God doing its precise work in my life, removing areas and attitudes of the flesh that only hinder greater growth.
There are plants that appear to be thriving with full, green leaves and little, if any fruit. These are the plants that are subject to the pruning knife. As we understand exactly what God is doing and why He is doing it, it will help us endure the procedure, even as Hebrews 12:11reveals- “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness...”.
Jesus makes it clear to His disciples that the one thing the Father is after in us is spiritual fruit. Fruit is an indicator of a healthy, living plant that has undergone the trial of being cut back but not cut off. In John 15:1-2, Jesus explains in graphic detail the drastic outcome of those whose lives are perpetually fruitless. “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, that it may bear more fruit”. Not just fruit, but more fruit. So often, just prior to pruning, you feel at ease, confident that your life is pleasing to God and you experience His blessings and favour upon you, when suddenly, you encounter an unforeseen upheaval, leaving you spiritually stunned and dismayed as to what just happened. It’s simple—the Vinedresser is pruning you as only He can do so that more fruit will grow in your life—the fruit of patience, the fruit of humility, the fruit of grace, and of course, the fruit of love.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth and maturity. Shortcuts only produce small, frail roots that will not hold you up in the time of drought or storm. But to patiently endure the pruning of even things dear to your heart, things that you cannot imagine being without, is the certainty of strong roots that will go down deep into the ground and keep you firm in your faith and fruitful in your ministry, unmoveable and always abounding in the work of the Lord.
So if you’ve been questioning the unpleasant and painful things that are presently happening to you, even though you love the Lord and are seeking His will with a holy desire to please Him, that is the answer—you are under the knife! Take comfort and courage, for Jesus said in John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples”. Amen! Cut away, Lord and make room for a harvest of fruit for your glory!