"He has already tended to you by pruning you back for greater strength and usefulness by means of the commands I gave you" (John 15:3).
My friend was in the process of pruning his vineyard, and it appeared to me - in my limited knowledge of vineyards - that the pruning was too severe. Only the main stump remained. I inquired, "Why have you pruned the vine back to just the main stump?"
"Because," he said, "that is the way to ensure that it will produce a greater harvest. Otherwise the nourishment flowing up through the roots would be dissipate in keeping the vines alive. It could not produce the maximum number of grapes."
It is my regular prayer that God will keep both me as an individual and the movement of which I am a part well pruned that we may not waste time, energy, talent and money producing beautiful foliage with no fruit. Our subjection to that pruning can be either voluntary or reluctant. How much better is it for us to invite the Lord to do the pruning than to have the pruning forced upon us over our protests.
The best possible way to cooperate in God's pruning is to study His Word. Memorize and meditate upon His truths, obey His commandments and claim His promises. Jesus taught the disciples personally, by word and model, over a period of more than three years. Yet, Judas betrayed the Lord and committed suicide and the others denied Him and deserted Him at the cross. It was not until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost that their lives were really transformed and the things He had taught them became a reality to them.
The same Holy Spirit who transformed their lives and gave them the courage to die as martyrs proclaiming God's truth dwells within you and me. He wants to bear much fruit through us and He did through them. I encourage you to make that time, when you study the commands that Jesus gave us and apply His truths to your heart, the most important part of your day.
Today's Action Point
I will cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the pruning process of my life by spending much time studying, memorizing and meditating on the Word of God, applying its truths to my life as I claim the supernatural resources of the living Christ for supernatural living.