“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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.” (John 15:1-2)
When my husband and I purchased our house in 2013 the tree in the first image below was already planted in the front yard. For a while we were too busy to notice it had not grown. But eventually my husband pulled it up with no effort; it was not deeply planted to absorb growth nutrients.
My husband purchased another tree and deeply planted it. It grew and birthed beautiful pink blossoms. Sadly, I took upon myself to prune the tree and it stopped growing and blooming.
In like manner, when we walk in disobedient, we prune God’s Word out of our mind for a season of worldly pleasures and risk the chance of dying in an unrepentance state. Hosea 4:6, “My people perish from lack of knowledge?”
As you can see in the image below that we did not remove the dead tree, and amazingly God allowed a different type of tree to grow in the same hole alongside the dead one.
The analogy of the trees references Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Notice in the below image the dead tree is still retaining height but no leaves. Hence, sin does not want us to have a new life in Christ and tries to hold on.
As the temple of the gift of the Holy Spirit, we must be alive in Christ and overshadow evil by exhaling works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21; and inhaling the fruit of the Spirit. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
It is imperative to get rid of everything contrary to the commandments of God to grow and thrive in our new life in Christ. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
The new tree below is overshadowing the old tree and symbolizes how our transformed life should overshadow sin in our life. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the Sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose of which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
We must daily spiritually prune sin from our lives and maintain spiritual stability in the Word of God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creations have come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (II Corinthians 5:17).
You can see in the image below the new tree (our new life in Christ) is overshowing the dead tree (dead to sin). The more we study Scriptures, it becomes easier to flee sin.
Perhaps we get busy sometimes and do not absorb biblical nutrients to deeply plant our mind in the Word of God for growth in biblical knowledge, wisdom, understanding and obedience.
How deeply planted are we in the Word of God? Are we daily pruning sin from our lives? Is our new life in Christ thriving and overshadowing sin?
A longer version of this message was originally published approximately 14 months ago. I am republishing a concise version as this subject is still crucial on our spiritual journey.