Ouch Ouch Ouch

by Mar 6, 2024Devotional0 comments

John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.

 

“Ouch ouch,” I said in thought, as I pruned a particularly large branch on an old fruit tree. I needed to do some major pruning and cut off all sorts of branches. This work reminded me of what the Lord had said: pruning eventually brings more fruit, which is our Heavenly Father’s goal for us. The interesting thing was that the younger trees just needed some trimming and a bit of shaping here and there, but the older trees needed much more work and cutting back. The older the fruit tree, the thicker the wood and larger the branches that will be cut off. It was the same for the grape vines, I had to make room for new fruit. The more dead wood there was the deeper the cuts were, to make sure that death did not spread. The parallel was not lost on me as I realized the older we get in our relationship with the Lord, the more trimming time there is when sitting in His presence.

It seems to me, that the more time I spend with the Lord, the more He points out what needs trimming and cutting away. John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful. Our reasoning is not the Lord’s reasoning. What we often think of as good results and fruit, may not be what God is looking for. I thought that the beautiful lush green branch I had grown was something that God would be impressed with. Not according to Him. It was a branch that looked good but was not producing righteousness in Christ. Therefore, out came the heavenly sheers and loppers and snip – just like that my full-grown works were gone. “Ouch,” I thought, what must I do to have God’s fruit in my life?

Our Heavenly Father wants the fruit of the Spirit to be coming forth from our hearts. Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. This is the fruit of life and the fruit that our Father wants to be established and remain so that others may see the fruit of the Lord’s making and want some for themselves. Our idols and motivations get in the way of what the Holy Spirit is trying to do through us. This is why we are being scrutinized by the Holy Spirit. We are being examined to see what needs pruning next. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of man, and He knows what is needed within our hearts to be at peace with God. Therefore, the trimming will go on.

The pruning of the Lord will eventually reach our idols and that feeling is a constant “Ouch that hurts” as the lopping takes place. The Lord is cutting out our idols that can grow into beautiful lushness as we display our works to the world. The problem is just that, the works are ours and not the Lord’s. His pruning is needed so that the works of the Lord bring the fruit God wants within His Kingdom. Our idols are so well placed and engrafted into our lives that many times they are ruling in the background while God is trying to heal our hearts. Allowing the Holy Spirit to minister within our lives so that we recognize the idol trying to replace Jesus on the throne of our hearts is going to be a daily prayer of submission. Matt. 6:10b Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

I am a firstborn in my family, and firstborns are notorious for seeking approval and needing to be liked. Many of us firstborns got stuck with a lot of the responsibility in the family. The unnatural expectations that were placed upon us were difficult to fulfil at best, and impossible most of the time. We got blamed for a lot of what our siblings did and ‘thank yous’ for what we did do right were few and far between the accusations of failure. My idol of wanting to be approved can get in the way of what God is working on within me. I need to find my approval in God and rest in the fact that Jesus procured that approval for me at the cross. The other idols of Want and Drive, God is working on and I’m sure I saw some blood in that session of pruning. My responsibility is to let the pruning take place and replace the idols of my heart with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of my heart and Him alone. Ex. 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

I know that so many of my readers have their lives together and might feel they do not need these extreme measures of having the Lord cut back their branches, but I sure need the Lord to do His work in me. As the older vines and fruit trees needed much more cutting and lopping, it seems the older I get in my walk with the Lord, there will be more appointments for major surgery to take place to eradicate what is replacing my saviour on the throne of my heart. Thank God for the blood of Jesus that washes me every time I come and ask for the Lord’s cleansing help and healing. Only at the cross can we defeat the idols that try to replace our King of kings and Lord of lords. Only the blood of Jesus can keep us free. In Him only do I trust.

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Sir Norm’s Commentary

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AudioReads

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