Here’s a picture of the front of my home BEFORE I pruned the bushes
(click on the photo to get a better view):
It may not look like very much was pruned, but I actually removed THREE wheelbarrow’s full of branches! The process in which God cleans up our lives is often compared to pruning a plant or shrub. Just as I needed to prune the deadwood off my butterfly bush and cut off the overgrowth from the other bushes, God does the same with us. He gets rid of habits and/or thoughts that aren’t spiritually productive: things such as gossip, anger, addictions, bad language, etc. When God prunes away these unproductive habits, we’re able to grow and produce spiritual fruit.
John 15:2 says, “Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” (Amplified Bible)
As I pruned and cleaned out my garden, this left left room for new growth. Pruning branches that already have good growth gives the plant or shrub a better shape and stimulates new growth. That’s what God does with us: He shapes us to become more like Christ as the good things (spiritual fruit) have room to grow in us because the dead stuff (sin) has been cleared away.
What things is God pruning from your life?