I live in an area known for its fruit orchards, especially apple orchards. During the winter, the orchard workers go out and prune new limbs off the tops trees. The limbs that are pruned off are known as “suckers”. When I was younger, I never understood why you want to trim off branches that could produce more fruit. Then one day it was explained to me; the tree must be pruned so it will focus its energy on producing good, ripe, juicy fruit for the harvest. If the tree was allowed to keep the sucker branches, it would have to use its energy on growing the non-fruit-bearing extra branches and their leaves, etc. The tree would need to focus on itself, rather than the fruit it was created to produce. It is also important to note that only mature trees are pruned, the young trees are allowed to grow to maturity without the stress of pruning.
Much like the orchardist prunes the fruit trees, the Lord prunes us too. At different levels of maturity, He will prune our branches of selfishness, pride, and any other branches that do not reflect who we are to be in Christ. We are to produce the Fruit of the Spirit, but if we are allowed to focus on “us” we will never produce fruit anyone will desire. Without pruning our fruit would be small, dry, and lack the full flavor of the Life the Lord has given us. But when we submit and allow Him to do it in the right season it will produce great Fruit for the harvest.
We must choose to surrender everything and allow Him to prune the branches that do not produce great Fruit…our “suckers”. Sucker branches will “suck” the Life out of us if we hold onto them. Our flesh does not want to submit and let go of our “us” branches, but we must if we are to have more of Him and grow more fruit.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2 (NKJV)
Pray for a good pruning, that you may grow an abundance of great fruit for the harvest.