Recently, Joyce Meyer’s series on “Benefits of Fellowshipping With God” has been following me everywhere I go. I wake up in the morning, and she’s on TV talking about pruning. I tune in to her podcast at work and she’s talking about pruning. The other night, I was flipping through radio stations and I landed on Joyce Meyer making this statement:
“If you don’t obey God, He will prune you. If you do obey Him, He will prune you so you will bear more fruit. Either way you’re going to be pruned!”
OK, so I’m going to be pruned no matter what. Fantastic. Having God snip me with shears sounds like a really joyous process…not really.
But it’s going to happen, one way or another. If we walk in disobedience, we ignore God’s pruning and let the weeds of sin choke our beautiful garden. But if we heed His pruning, He shapes our lives into something more productive and fruitful than we would have ever imagined.
I like the way Wikipedia defines pruning. “The purpose of pruning is to shape the plant by controlling or directing plant growth, to maintain the health of the plant, or to increase the yield or quality of flowers and fruits.” God really does prune us for those same three reasons: To direct us in the way we should go, to keep us healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically, and to cause us to be even more fruitful.
But it is easier to ignore the pruning process than to endure it.
Recently I raked up all the dead tree limbs that were strewn about my yard as after effects of Hurricane Ike. One limb was still hanging onto the tree, though it had been severed from the tree. It was dead, and looked so odd next to the vibrant, green leaves of the branches next to it.
That’s how we look when we don’t spend daily time with God. The Bible says that He is the Vine and we are the branches. A branch is nothing without the vine or the tree that it belongs to. It is left to die without a daily connection to the Vine.
Every day we spend without time with the Lord, we become a little dead. But as we spend time with Him daily, we become more and more alive each day, and He develops our lives into beautiful gardens.