"He is pruning you"
The more you carefully read and consider the exclusive discourse of Jesus with his followers in John !3:1-17: the more you come to realize the role of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in bringing up the believer to the place of usefulness.
In John 15, the Lord Jesus gave a realistic example of how the Father is periodically and systematically bringing up and making the believer capable of bearing fruits. This is a bottom line of becoming a disciple who is able and qualified to bear fruits at all times.
Three decades ago, Yekepa, an iron-ore mining city located high in the mountains of eastern Liberia was noted for its beauty. The iron ore mining company, LAMCO that built this city gave each laborer and staff free housing and utilities. But each employee was instructed to maintain the beauty of his yard by taking good care of the flower plants in his yard. Consequently, every junior and senior staff employed a yard garden boy for trimming the flowers. Yekepa then became the most beautiful city in Liberia.
Christians are the branches of a fruit tree belonging to God in His back yard. He does not want to employ any garden boy for pruning this all important fruit tree in his back yard. God Himself wants to prune us so that His kingdom will remain neat and populated with the beauty of his holiness.
In the opening statement of John 15, the Lord Jesus introduced Himself as the True Vine and His Father as a Vinedresser. The plants in the garden are quite exposed to the owner of the garden. He knows the condition of each plant and knows how to take care of it. He trims off the partially disconnected, withered, fruitless branches and prunes or cleans around the potentially fruitful branches in order for them to be neat and ready for bearing fruits. Some half-hearted believers are so carelessly naïve that they overlook the primary plan of the Father for their lives. They are working toward making names for themselves overnight while some are craving for fame. But the name and the fame belong to our Father who alone can wane us (The act or process of gradually declining or diminishing.) to becoming fruitful for His glory.
The carelessness of such men who refused to be spiritually minded leads to the Father trimming them off. This is what Paul was talking about in Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness". I believe this passage is referring to nominal, fruitless 'Christians' whose daily inordinate activities or sinful behavior warrant their being trimmed off by the Father. They have refused to remain in the true vine, Jesus Christ. They have habitually and routinely desire to live for themselves, disconnected from the true vine thus abusing God's plan and order for their lives. Recognition of the main vine and seeking to remain in Him is the only solution. Those who willingly continue to go away and refuse to submit the pruning process of the Father have to be trimmed off. Paul continued in Romans 1:24, 26, 28 that God gave such people over to their own fleshly desires. This is the difference between trimming off the branch and pruning it for fruits. The contrast of carnality and spirituality is seen here. Romans 8:6, "To be carnally minded is death"; trimmed off the True Vine. This is the bad news that Jesus is warning us against that it may never be our portion. The following is God's plan for your life as you submit to the appeal of the Holy Spirit through God's word, " but to be spiritually minded is life and peace"; pruned by the Father to bear fruits.
May the Father prepare you as the branch in Jesus Christ to be able to bear fruits.
Lord prune me as a branch in your Son, the true Vine.
Pastor Benjamin Tomah - International Bible Church - Liberia & Cote d'Ivoire Africa. January, 2003