John 15:1-2 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (NKJV)
When we first moved into our last house, I noticed that the hedge down the side of the front lawn looked like it was on its last legs. I remembered someone telling me that cutting back a bush can rejuvenate it, so I proceeded to snip it mercilessly down to about a foot from the ground. I think my neighbours thought I was crazy, but it was worth a try.
Lo and behold, by season's end, the hedge was right back to flourishing, and I received compliments from those around for my rescue. A few years later, the hedge deteriorated again, and I repeated the former exercise. This time the recovery was even better, and when I sold the house two years ago, the hedge was beautifully high and thick.
This experience reminded me how God often prunes us of attitudes or bad habits, which often results in a surge of spiritual growth. I personally experienced a greater anointing on my life when I beat a smoking habit thirty years ago.
Another experience took place when I got rid of all my worldly music and began writing songs about God. This action eventually led me into leading worship.
It's so beneficial to us if we let our Father, the Vinedresser, prune out those things that are holding us back from being in tune with the true vine: Jesus.
Prayer: Father God, we pray that You would help us to be sensitive to Your Spirit at those times when You call us to prune things from our life that hinder our relationship with You. Holy Spirit, help us as You do the pruning in our lives. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.