In John 15 we read how our Father tends to our branches. He cares for each one of us with His excellent and strategic pruning. Verse 2 says, “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.”
Years ago I sawed off a huge branch that was crowding out another plant. I left for an hour. When I came back I was startled to see that the leaves had already withered. It was a great spiritual lesson that I vividly remember. Since Jesus is the Vine, the life-source for our branch is abiding in His word.
Verse 5 in the Amplified says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me (cut off from vital union with Me) you can do nothing.” The branch that I sawed off, lost its vital union with the tree. Anything we do in our own strength, is literally sawed off from Him. There is no connection.
There is a vivid illustration of what happens when one does not take care of his vineyard in Proverbs 24:30-34. Verse 31 says, “And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.” How are you doing with your heart husbandry?
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Little foxes can be rogue thoughts. Rogue as a verb means: to remove inferior or defective plants or seedlings. What thoughts are you having that are knocking off fruit that is in blossom?
We are the ones that are responsible for our thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul instructed his readers to bring every thought captive. If you think about it, you will realize that it is a full time job. However, we have the Holy Spirit within us. He will direct our thoughts when we are submitted to Him.
I fall back on this verse a lot for myself, and when I am counseling others. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Our thoughts determine our actions. We have been called to walk in holiness. Yet, if our conduct does not reflect that call, it is because of our rogue thoughts. They need to be weeded out, or they will choke off God’s word, or put a stranglehold on it.
Song of Solomon 1:6 has a phrase that I use on myself. The Shulamite woman’s statement can also be our reality. She said, “…but my own vineyard I have not kept.” Are there chores that you don’t like and so you put them off? It is far too easy to procrastinate than to do them. Yet, when it comes to our heart husbandry, we need to be diligent. Proverbs 4:23 says that unresolved issues will spring up when we least expect them.
What is hidden in your heart that you hope no one will ever find out? Unresolved issues are usually from interpersonal relationships. The greatest is unforgiveness. That leads to ingrained bitterness that chokes our spirit. Yesterday I read Leviticus 14. Here is an illustration for leprosy (mold). Verse 37 says “…if the plague is on the walls of the house with ingrained streaks, greenish or reddish, which appear to be deep in the wall…” Tomorrow I will deep dive into hidden invasions.