“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.”
John 15:2 NKJV
Pruning is a fascinating activity, it’s the process of cutting away unwanted, dead, or unfruitful parts of a plant, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. Without pruning a plant, nutrients and energy are wasted on overgrowth (too many branches and leaves) and weakens fruit production.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been a gardener, but the only purpose of a fruit-bearing plant is to bear fruit. Plants that don’t bear fruit are only useful for the fire and are uprooted and thrown away, because they steal nutrients from the ones that produce. Jesus describes the relationship of believers with Him as a fruit bearing vine, He is the vine that brings the needed water and nutrients to the branches that bear fruit. Those that believe in Christ are the branches, and those who abide in Him bear fruit. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4).
You can’t bear worthy fruit unless you abide in Christ, and only “he who keeps His commandments abides in Him” (I John 3:24). This is where pruning happens, the cutting away of dead or unwanted things that hinder our growth and fruitfulness. In the Psalms, David wrote “Try my heart and mind”, which means to smelt or refine. He didn’t simply ask God to show him, he desired testing and refinement, the pruning of the Lord that would allow him to walk in a worthy manner. Pruning can be painful, but it’s end is beneficial.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.”