This blog/email started with a one liner I’ve had tucked away in my phone for months.
Here it is: Pruning sometimes feels like God isn’t faithful.
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
As I begin to process this simple scripture, I did a dive into a Hebrew Greek Bible word study book. I found an unusual word associated with the word “prune” or “cuts off” listed in the version I’ve quoted. It was the word “purge”! I had never heard this rendering of the word “prune”. I had heard pruning taught as a “cutting away” but never a “purge”! Pruning actually means purging. I never knew that. I equates pruning with cutting away but purging seems so drastic and it can be in the life of a believer.
Purging is something I do with my closet contents. This is where my mind went initially when I read this word.
There are so many things I like in my closet but they no longer “fit” me today. This applies to where I am spiritually as well. Some vines fit me in a particular season for where God had me but now I need pruning and maturing to be done in a new area of my life. He gets to prune me! Last seasons vines won’t produce the new work He has for me today! It’s a fresh work in this fresh season.
Sometimes the contents of my physical closet are out of season. Y’all I keep my clothes way too long. I think I hold on to”out of season” vines as well. My “spiritual vine” often has branches that are completely out of season for how God is working in my life today but yet I still hold onto them. They produced great in the last season so why wouldn’t they today? When God chooses to purge me, I have to trust the character of God to know He knows…
Some garments in my closet are just useless. They are old and ragged but I love them. They are comfy! Sometimes they are attached to seasons I’ve walked in and they are my identity. Same goes for my spiritual closet! Identity can never be in how God uses me but in Him alone.
When God chooses to purge my vines, it will always be so I will produce more fruit. It’s not that He is purposefully chopping away at my life but that He knows more fruit is in the new shoot He is cultivating in my life.
Is your closet like mine in that it is so full you can’t see the new for the old? Same goes for us. Some vines I will never clip myself. I will never do it unless God in His wisdom does the snipping. I love a good purge when I am in charge of the flush! How about you? We must get used to trusting Him with the gardening shears!
The pruning or purging God must do feels like He sometimes isn’t faithful. God is committed to our growth and whatever must be pruned or cut away for growth for the kingdom, He is willing. That’s why He prunes and purges our lives from time to time. I am learning God prunes and purges to direct me in the way He knows the growth is the deepest. I, in my own finite mind, will never know where to prune my life properly. God purges in the right season, the right amount and in the direction of the “Son”.
Purging, pruning and cutting away the dead, the “last season”, the overgrowth is a good thing. When God starts pruning, breathe deep my friend! Pruning means new growth is on the way!
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