Right before pruning, a grapevine is cluttered with both branches which are capable of bearing fruits and those which are not capable of bearing fruits.
If the vine is left unattended to, the unfruitful branches occupy space and could reduce the yield of the branches with fruit buds. The branches which are incapable of bearing fruits have to be cut off from the vine.
The fruit bearing branches also, are often cluttered with fruit buds or grape clusters. If these branches are not pruned, the number of grape clusters would become excessive. Parts of the grape clusters have to be removed, so as to sustain maximum and satisfactory yield.
This same principle is applied to everyone whom God saves.
What Does Pruning Mean In The Bible
- What does pruning mean in the bible?
In scriptures, the Lord uses a grapevine to set an instance for pruning.
John 15:5 NIV"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Christians are branches and parts of the body Christ. Jesus Christ is the Vine. We are His branches. The Father is the Vine dresser.
What Does Spiritual Pruning Mean
Spiritual pruning is the processing which every true Believer must undergo in order to become more like Christ. It is what happens in the much-talked-about 'Refiner's Fire'.
Christianity simply means being like Christ. No one instantly becomes like Jesus Christ the moment they get saved. That's where pruning comes into play.
Pruning is necessary for transforming and conforming the new convert into the image and likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29).
The work of spiritual prunning is handled by God the Father Himself. Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful". (John 15:1).
The indwelling Holy Spirit is the One through whom the Father carries out the work of pruning in every genuine Christian.
Why Does God Prune Fruitful Branches
When God saves someone, He also imparts in them His nature. The saved begins to see things differently from the way they did before they got saved. They start to recognise that some things are wrong, and they shouldn't do them.
Salvation does not instantly take away the sin nature from man. Salvation has to be worked out, towards perfection (Philippians 2:12). This is why pruning becomes necessary.
Pruning is there to deal with unChrist-like character, behaviour, and faulty thinking patterns which people imbide from the society [No thanks to society for helping us become more unGodly].
Romans 6:22 KJVBut now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
The purpose of pruning is to enable us bear fruits—good fruits, unto holiness. These good fruits are encapsulated in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, which must manifest in every genuine Christian:
Galatians 5:22-23 KJVBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
God does not save someone today, only to send them into the vineyard tomorrow. He understands that it is deadly to step into ministry as a baby Christian. The Lord transforms and equips us first before using us. Pruning is needed to equip us for the Master's use.
Valid Signs That God Is Pruning You
- When God is pruning you, He will put you through numerous tests. Greater the calling and assignment, greater the tests.
- When God is pruning you, it might seem as though the whole world has turned against you. People will hate you for refusing to continue living the way they expect, but the way God wants.
- When God is pruning you, answers to certain prayers may be delayed. It's part and parcel of your tests. God is stretching and developing your faith in Him.
- There will occasionally come the feeling of inadequacy. You will know it when you are not ready for God's use. But understand that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. When you are ready to be used of Him, you will know and He will let you know.
- You may experience new and diverse dimensions of spiritual attacks. Because you are not yet used to the tactics and devices of Satan, certain kinds of spiritual attacks will be new to you. God is also using this to teach and equip you. By so doing, tomorrow you will be ready to proffer solution to others who are experiencing similar attacks.
- You will experience rejection from family and friends because you've changed (for good). You might not notice the change, but they've noticed it. Because of this, some will begin calling you "Man of God, Woman of God", even when you don't own or run a church.
- You will begin to prioritise spending time with God in your private space—in prayer and the Word. You'll develop greater hunger for the Word and prayer.
- You will begin to value the things of God over the things of the Flesh; Godly ways over worldly ways.
- God will use situations to teach you things you need to learn.
- The Holy Spirit will occasionally correct your talking. As a Christian, you can't say everything everyone says or talk the same way everyone does. Certain words are not expected to proceed from your lips.
- The Holy Spirit will occasionally correct your lifestyle and behaviour.
Your Expected Response To Pruning
The Lord expects everyone whom He saves to submit to the pruning process. A true Christian is supposed to desire to be used of God, and to be used of God demands that we are transformed and equipped for that purpose.
Our responsibility is to cooperate with God as He works to take away the chaffs—the undesirable traits in us; to implant in us Christ-like traits and equip us for His use.
2 Timothy 2:21 KJVIf a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
Pruning is not meant to harm us but to make us better Christians. As much as we desire to be mightily used of God, we should be willing to submit to His pruning process. We should cooperate with Holy Spirit as He transforms us into the image and likeness of Christ.
Spiritual Pruning Scriptures
1 John 3:22, 1 John 3:14, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 3:6-7, 1 John 3:3, 1 John 2:29, 1 John 2:24, 1 John 2:10-11, 1 John 2:3-6, 2 Peter 1:5-9, James 3:11-18, Philemon 1:6, 2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Timothy 2:22, Colossians 3:10, Philippians 2:13, Philippians 1:27-28, Ephesians 5:9, Galatians 6:7-8, Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 2 Corinthians 9:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:4, John 14:23.
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