Pruning is one of those super basic concepts that Christians are familiar with. It’s interesting to learn just how much we think it’s helpful for everyone but us😃!
When I bring up the subject, most believers are very quick to acknowledge the spiritual importance of pruning, like fasting or prayer as a peaceful weapon.
Well, I just finished pruning my very own grape vines! Just like previous years, the “mechanics” of pruning help insure several beneficial aspects of the vine; all of which carry particularly cogent parallels to the Spirit! When you get right down to it, the meanings are all positive!
Typically, “pruning” can seem punitive. It can denote corrective action, depravation, even discipline. The common view of pruning is usually about training a plant to grow a certain way. Here’s a paradox of sorts: failure to prune stunts growth! Letting a vine grow “peacefully” without pruning will result in the less desirable growth of non fruiting branches! Sounds familiar?
The vine dresser (skillful pruner) goes about identifying which branches to trim back, and which ones to eliminate! It’s an intelligent, timely process. And Christ, of course, is the True Vine that we are all grafted onto/into (see the Gospel according to John Chapter 15).
Look at it this way: pruning is a way of intelligently investing in future production! It’s a prescription for health – NOT a punishment! True, unproductive runners are trimmed off, but this is to insure that the main vine supplies the maximum energy to fruit bearing branches!
And yes, you can do it in a very wrong way! Pruning vines needs to be done before the Spring blooming season, and early enough in the day so that the wounds will seal before sundown! Pruning also needs to be done when there is no rain in the forecast for the next several days so that fungus is discouraged from entering the cuts. AND, the pruning shears need to be sterilized prior to pruning each new vine to prevent the transfer of viruses!
All of these actions have spiritual counterparts in our lives! As in our “walk of faith” – you really have to know what you’re doing! Cooperation with the Holy Spirit is essential! The right tools: reading and searching the Scriptures are essential!
Hebrews 12:5-11 says that the Lord chastises those whom He loves to increase the yield! We all need correction. We all need spiritual “vine dressing” to bear the maximum fruit for the Kingdom! Submit to the process, and the Lord will provide the increase!
Peace and Maranatha