Needing a Trim

9 10 2014

pruningvine“He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in Me.” (John 15:2a)

This is referring to us now. Jesus is the vine. The Father is the gardener. We are the branches and right away we need to admit that branches can be about themselves. Branches can take from vine, drink in its goodness but grow rogue.

  • They can be glory seekers
  • Then can be false teachers
  • They can be selfish saints
  • They can be followers in name only.

Verse two is blunt. I like this about the Bible, it doesn’t really mince words or dance around subjects. Time is of the essence and followers of Jesus need to face who they are quickly:

  • Sinner?
  • Helpless?
  • Repentant?
  • Surrendered?
  • Saved?
  • Following?

John 15:2a is like this. It is an immediate heart check with 12 words that ask, who are you? We are to be off-shoots, little representatives of the vine: same look, same heart, same fruit (check Galatians 5 for fruit identification).

So what about these branches who don’t bear fruit. Everything in the Bible points to a God who fights for us. He doesn’t run His hand along the branches and snip us off just like that. He is so patient. He leaves so much time, puts so much energy into coaxing us to be fruit-bearing branches. I see this in my own life: the tedious work of keeping me grafted in. The Patient, tender, relentless, merciful, fine-tuning work of the Spirit.

I have felt it when he has adjusted me to be closer to the sunlight, the degree of change in the shade. He has come out late at night, tarp flapping in the wind to cover me in a sudden rainstorm.

Every last effort is made.

What requires trimming? It is revealed…

  • When we are in a hard season it will prove where our beliefs lie
  • When we are shaken, our next step tells a lot about us
  • When we are pressed or angry or confronted, our words tell a story
  • When we plan our calendar it says something about  us
  • What we do with and how we feel about our finances shows our colours.

As a branch, I have never known “me” as well as when I am in times of uncertainty. I hit the wall of my belief and unbelief hard then. Finally, with a few more bruises than I would like (I can be stubborn) I end up opening my hands and pleading, “teach me,” because I realize how much I have to learn.

But some branches will have none of it. Some refuse counsel and shun the expert handling of the gardener.

This verse says the Father will let go of what will not bend. There are those who will only serve themselves. There are those with a clear yes and a clear no. Let us not be mistaken, with 12 words John 15:2a says let us not be mistaken. There will be some who “depart from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Not my will, but Yours Lord. Win in me, please win in me.

— Teresa Klassen









One response

22 11 2014

Thanks for this post – spoke right to my heart

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