Growing up, and even today in the local church, there is not much talk about decrease, which can sound like something negative, but in reality it is directly connected to increase in life! The cutting away of things that hinder in life can be the best process for bringing about healthy long-term growth in a person’s life or even the church body.
We can be so concerned with speaking, living and breathing increase that we forget the power of pruning. So the big question is what does good decrease or “pruning” professionally or personally needs to look like?
John 15:2 talks about not only “branch removal” but pruning in life. Check it out:
“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.”
It is VERY interesting that this verse doesn’t just talk about removing unfruitful branches but cutting on the branches that bear fruit as well! We gloss over that detail and think we will not have pruning from God to improve our fruitfulness. It seems from this verse that God doesn’t just want us to produce “fruit” for the sake of fruit but GOOD and lasting fruit. When we realize that excellence is the expectation, we will live lives that actually accepts pruning and looks forward for times of personal growth. Also, look at the people as a part of a church or ministry. Sometimes God wants to cut or remove people from a church body or ministry to help bring health to an organization AND that the cutting/pruning in the lives of those groups is for benefit and not harm.
So we need to pray that God not only brings increase to our lives personally but also DECREASE in things that need to fall away and that are hindering the growth of not just fruit but GREAT fruit. This is also a lesson in how much we trust that God has our best interests in mind and not just the “giving or taking away” that we feel happens during the seasons of life. Trust, at its essence, believes in something that can’t be seen in the physical realm.
When we learn to trust that God has everything under control, we can accept the times of increase as well as decrease and expect GREAT fruit either way. It may be time to actually pray FOR decrease in life in the ways that God wants to cut, remove and prune to not just get the most out of you but to get the most IN you to set things up for success in all areas of life!
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