Here in the Northeast most of the leaves are past their peak of color and are quickly falling to the ground. The trees are beginning to expose their bare branches. As I run in the neighborhoods near my home, I spend quite a bit of my time dodging tree branches that have overgrown their intended area and are hovering over sidewalks and passageways. It can be like an obstacle course and I need to be paying attention to where I am running or I could poke an eye out If I am not aware of my surroundings.
When I blogged about the leaves a few weeks ago in “the earth is filled”, I was reminded of how many times in God’s word that He compares us to trees. This verse is also a reminder:
John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
As believers, we know the importance of remaining in Jesus so we can produce fruit for the kingdom. What if I feel like I am producing no fruit? Well, maybe it’s time to have some of those overgrown branches pruned back a bit. Are they blocking the sidewalk that runs through to your destiny and calling? What might overgrown branches be that need pruning? One indication may be that people will start to go out of their way to avoid you on their path. Are you easy to be around or do you sense that other people are seeing the places that need pruning and are avoiding you as though you have “root rot” instead?
John 15:2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
These branches may indicate a need to be pruned: pride, envy, selfishness, unforgiveness, control issues, etc.
I have a beautiful miniature lime tree that I have had the pleasure of growing for the last 12 years. I call it my “baby”. It has brought me much joy over the years as it has gone from a seedling to producing over 50 limes last Summer. The key to it’s health and production is when I bring it back into the house each Fall/Winter season, I must prune it’s branches back. The best part of pruning that tree is that within a few weeks of it’s cutting, it begins to develop these gorgeous white flowers that emit the most heavenly tropical fragrance.
John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
As you ask the Lord what pruning needs done in your life today, be encouraged that within a short period of time, you will be producing more fruit and if you are like my lime tree, you will also be releasing the fragrance of heaven where ever God sends you.