What it means when your life is changing | Bible Study John 15
You cannot grow without being abiding in Jesus. It gets so easy for us to sit here and beg God for something, and when that something comes, we start to put God on the backburner. Only picking him back up when we need something else.
Do you know what true growth is? What it looks like? What it feels like? Jesus gave this parable of the vine in John 15. It says:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” ESV
Your first thought may be, “Wait, what? Why am I losing fruit either way it goes?” Because my friend, that is life. Think about a plant, if you have a green thumb this will be easy for you. So, I have this plant at home. I picked off a stem from another plant to place it in this pot and soil to bear more leaves. As the I nurtured the plant, it began to grow. Every now and then, I’d get a dead leaf. It needed to be taken away. Dead leaves can cause the entire plant to get sick. It can hinder its growth, and it can stop another piece of a new leaf from sprouting.
How many things in your life needs to be taken away? What has God been asking you to let go of, but you’re still holding onto it because it’s just what you know? Did you know, letting go of those dead leaves is what will make room for something better?
I had a boyfriend some time ago, I thought we were a match made in heaven. He lived out of state and I’d never seen his face before. I saw photos, but that was it (honey, I was catfished before Catfish was a show). I cried over this man and prayed to God about this man. One day, when I was reading scripture, God spoke clear as day. I was reading a passage about listening to God’s voice and letting go. He whispered this man’s voice in my ear. I thought…oh no, not (insert man’s name here).
I didn’t want to let him go because I was so attached. For almost 3 years I held onto that relationship. I ended up stranded in New York, waiting for him to pick me up from the airport, but he never showed up. If I would’ve listened to God before, I wouldn’t have spiraled into such a alcoholic and depressive stage in my life. It could’ve all been avoided. But we always feel like we’re losing something if we let go, don’t we? We’re losing our comfort, we feel out of control if we loosen our grasp, we feel like we’re in a prison. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Now, Tanaya, what do you think about this whole “pruning of fruitful branches” thing? I’m glad you asked (and drop that Italian accent, it’s embarrassing). Okay, let’s hop to it.
When it comes to pruning fruitful branches (or plants in my example), it is to produce better fruits. When you prune an already growing and healthy plant, it’s because it’s time for more growth! It helps circulate airflow, and it helps yield more branches.
Let’s say you’re doing great in life. Everything is going fantastic, but something happens that shook you up a little bit. Maybe a loss of a child or another loved one, maybe it was the loss of a relationship or maybe COVID-19 caused some hardship in your life. All of a sudden you’re like “Yo, God! Things was going good, what’s with this mess man?” I believe God would turn to you and say, “Son/daughter/my love, I’m doing this to produce a part of you that will do great things. You’ll go through this for a little while, but when you come out, you’ll be even better than before. Trust me.”
I’m saying all of that to say this, whether it’s grief, a breakup, loss of a friendship, or you just have to learn to let go of something you have a tight grasp on, it will benefit you in the end if you trust God.
Sometimes you’ll feel shattered and torn. Especially if it was a dead leaf hindering your growth. But I want you to know, that God is only looking out for your good. So if he says to let go, it’s because he’s going to catch you in the end.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”. John 15 1-7 ESV
What are you holding onto that God is trying to prune?