It’s Not Punishment, It’s Pruning

4 Purposes Of Pruning

We don’t magically become like Jesus – Which is a transformation all believers are undergoing. It’s a process to become patient, getting ability to have joy in difficult situations or have power to remain sexually pure until marriage. You have to be developed by God and that’s where pruning comes in.

What Is Pruning?

John 15:1-2 Jesus tells us “I am the true vine, my Father is the farmer. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes, that there will be more fruit.

In nature, pruning is a process down to fruit bearing plants to facilitate healthy growth. As believers, Jesus compares our spiritual growth to that of a vine plant. Like a gardener chance to his plants, God is overseeing your growth so that you will mature in Christ and live the life He created you for.

There are four reasons for pruning. If you have any pruning season right now or aren’t sure, take a look at this list. God prunes us for our good so that we may be spiritually healthy and fulfill the purposes He has for our life.

Why Does God Prune Us?

1. To Remove What’s Dead or Dying

As you mature in Christ, there will always be things that you lose the desire for if you desire for God increases. There may also be things that you try to hold onto that God wants you to let go of. In both these cases, God will remove those things from your life sometimes by isolating you or placing you in new surroundings. Or He may give you insight and revelation about someone’s true intentions toward you so that you can take the necessary steps to cut ties with that person. It’s crucial to remove dead things there is space for new things to grow.

2. To Remove What’s Infected Or Diseased

An area that is sick will never be able to grow to its full potential. Until it’s healed, it will always be bound and restricted in someway. God will reveal the roots of your vices, insecurities, and fears to you, and instruct you how to walk in freedom. It may mean forgiving that person who abuse you, finding love and acceptance in Christ instead of romantic relationships, or seeking counseling to learn how to stop believing the lie that you’re not good enough or will never be enough. This type of pruning can be especially painful because it’s like surgery. God has to open the wound to heal it.

3. To Remove Things That Are Hindering You

Hebrews 12:10-11 tells us “ God disciplines us for our good, an order that we may hear his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

When God started healing me from all the abuse, all the sadness, and all the pain. I knew it was going to be a hard road, all of this pain I have been feeling for over 40 years what’s going to come rushing back into my life. I admit some days I felt like just giving up on life, saying what’s the use if I have to go through all of this again. I had put up a huge blockade around me so I would never feel pain or anything else again. And now it was going to come tumbling down all around me. I was weak and honestly I didn’t think I could take it all again. But God was definitely giving my beauty for my ashes.

Pruning is solely for removing things that are overly bad for you. Sometimes God has to remove things that aren’t good for you in the current season. For example, you may be praying to God for a better paying job so you can become financially stable, but God’s saying, “No, not yet.” Dismissing that God doesn’t have your best interest at heart, but trust me He does.

Maybe you’ve been unfaithful with stewarding the income you have (not tithing, racking up credit card debt, etc…) and he knows you’re not ready for the responsibility to handle more. He doesn’t want to give you more money because he knows you’ll just dig yourself into a deeper hole. You may think if you had more you’d manage it better but more money doesn’t equal more discipline. God is using this to improve your discipline and self-control. Often, the things that hold us back aren’t people or places, but habits and characteristics.

4. To Keep You Focused And On The Right Track

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “ trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will and all you do and He will show you which path to take.

Without pruning, a tree branches grow in any and every direction. There is no focus. For a season, those branches grow leaves and bear fruit, But eventually, the weight of all those branches takes a toll on the tree and becomes more of a burden than a blessing.

We have to allow God to lead us so that we don’t become burdened or overwhelmed with things He never told us to take on; things that will distract us from His will. For a while, it may look like you have it all together, but in the end, your faith will suffocate and you’ll crumble from the pressure. Allow God to set your priorities and focus. Don’t burden yourself trying to keep up with society’s expectations. Surrender to Christ and take on His yoke. After all, His burden in easy and light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Do Not Resist It

Pruning isn’t comfortable but it’s nature and necessary part of following Christ. Sometimes it will be easier to endure another time it may be excruciating, but it’s for your good. The pain has a purpose. Stay focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). In Him we can do all things that strengthen us (Philippians 4:13).

For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and make requests for you, that you will be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10

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