DELIVERANCE AND HEALING
By PBS Ministries
As the caretaker in your garden, what would your reaction be if you have planted a fruit tree and having tirelessly looked for fruits, you realized there is none? You will feel disappointed and disgusted that all your efforts were in vain. Your first instinct will be to cut down the tree and throw it in the fire. In a similar vein, this is how Christ feels about us as Christians, when we refuse to bear fruit for his Kingdom.
Let us examine what Jesus says in the Gospel of John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.
5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Pruning by definition is the trimming of a tree, shrub or bush by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems so as to increase fruitfulness and growth.
Jesus gave this analogy to instill in us that productivity, abundance and fertility are what He demands of us. As fruitful Christians, we are shaped, cut and nurtured into the likeness of Christ to bear fruit that will last. When The Lord prunes us, He cuts away at our selfish ways, our pride, our unforgiveness, hatred, malice and the idols we have in our lives. Such shaping, cutting and molding are necessary for us to be holy, as our Father in Heaven is Holy. Fruitful living shows growth and maturity in our Christian walk, for a mango tree cannot bear grapes. If He abides in us and we abide in Him, we will show ourselves to be His disciples.
Our Spiritual growth is manifested in the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can only develop our character if we share an intimate relationship with Christ, if we stay committed to reading God’s Word and through death to the flesh. When we sow to the Spirit, we will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
God is a holy and righteous God and He commands us to forsake everything in the world, to turn our back on sin and to follow Him all the way. When we choose to live for the flesh, our fruit will be in keeping with worldly pleasures like sexual immorality, lust, impurity, drunkenness, anger, witchcraft, jealousy, envy and discord. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.. Just like the branches, such person will eventually be cut off from God and thrown into the fire to burn.
The Book of Matthew Chapter 21 tells us that Jesus was hungry and seeing a fig tree by the wayside, He went to it and found nothing on it only leaves. And He said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. Fruitfulness pleases God. Let us live a life that pleases God in every way, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. The Bible tells us that the kingdom of God will be taken away from us and given to a people who will produce its fruit. So I encourage us to let us do everything possible to be blameless before God and to be approved by Him, as a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
It is because of God’s love for us that He disciplines us. Our discipline comes sometimes through hardship, suffering and struggles, for if we are not disciplined, we are not legitimate sons and daughters of Christ. (Hebrews 12:8) The Scripture says we glorify God when we bear much fruit. Even as we endure our hardship, we are to remain steadfast, bearing fruit always and pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. Apostle Paul gave God the glory through his many pain, torture and sufferings. He continued to bear fruit that lasted. Many lives were changed, souls were saved and believers were encouraged in God.
Let us seek God with all our heart in humility, so that we can bear fruit for Him. And the fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let us be gentle to each other, not bearing malice or hatred to each other, but love each other with the love of God as we encourage and build up one another in Christ. Amen.