How To Be Fruitful (5)
You must submit to the pruning process. ‘He prunes those branches that bear fruit for even larger crops.’ Pruning entails cutting off dead branches and cutting back living branches. Both are necessary to shape the tree and stimulate [encourage] growth.
Professional pruners will tell you that most people are too hesitant when it comes to pruning. But God is not. He not only cuts off that which is sinful and superficial, He cuts back that which is alive and successful; a business that’s doing great, a satisfying relationship, or a plan that seems to be working well. God doesn’t just cut off the ‘bad’, but the ‘good’, in order to give you the ‘best’. It’s not pleasant, but it’s absolutely essential for spiritual growth. What does God want in your life? ‘Much fruit.’ (John 15:8KJV) So, you are going to be pruned! You may be undergoing pruning right now, and it may not all be deadwood. God cuts off things we view as productive so that more fruit may be produced in our lives.
This can be perplexing. We believe we’re being faithful, so we are puzzled, even frustrated, by His pruning. ‘Why are You doing this, God? I have given my business to You, but it’s unprofitable. I have committed my health to You, now I’m in the hospital. I’ve been tithing faithfully, yet I’m going bankrupt.’ What’s happening? ‘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.’ (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)
You’re being pruned for greater fruitfulness.