6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Lesson in Spiritual Pruning. When a branch is pruned, it must remember its roots, to draw its strength and life’s blood. It must push forth from a dormant bud, that it might bear more fruit in its next season of life.


The Vine and the Branches

Part 2:Pruning (Botany lesson 2)

By William Akehurst, HSWC

Key Verse: John 15:2

John 15:1-16

Jeremiah 23:5

Romans 11:16-24

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Romans 8:28

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a Righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

John 15:2

2 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.

There is a time and a season for everything. Eccl. 3:1


Fruit trees are nurtured to bear fruit. After the harvesting of fruits, and during the winter months, the orchard trees are cut back to the older wood. Being cut back makes the branch rely on the root of the tree to nourish it to bring forth the new shoot. From this new shoot comes the fruit for the next season.

At the time of pruning, the branch must remember its root from which to draw the lifeblood of the tree. Without remembering the root, the branch will wither, die and eventually be cut off completely.


Fingers. Pinch off dead blooms of the flowers to force new blooms.

Pruners/clippers. Used for selective pruning. To remove a spike or rogue shoot.

Shears. To shape a plant. To give a more well rounded appearance. Trimming and cropping to remove tender growth.

Saw. To cut heavy wood, to restructure or correct the plant. The saw removes the wood with each stroke.


At times, we feel the pinch. It is quick and easy. Sometimes we will feel the pinch of God upon our lives, taking off what was no longer needed. Pinching us back just a little bit.

Pinching off is the easiest pruning method of all. With just one pinch, the pruning is complete.


When branches stray from the trees form, they must be sliced off. The LORD’s pruners quickly remove and slice through the spike or rogue shoot, selectively cutting away things that don’t belong in our lives. This type of pruning can be a quick and decisive or defining moment in our lives. All done by the Master Gardeners Hands.


Sometimes we are just full of ourselves. And need to be trimmed back to a more manageable size and shape. Sometimes we can get out of hand, overgrown in our ways.

God works His shears over our lives to keep us to have a proper focus. Like a haircut, the shears may remove that which blocks our proper vision.


Used on the larger wood. The most painful of the pruners tools. Perhaps the most violent of pruning tools. While all the others are instantaneous in the method of pruning, the saw is laborious in its measure of correction. With each stroke, the saw gnaws away at the wood. The sawdust is the actual chiseling away of a piece of wood at a time. Each stroke of the blade causes the branch to give up a part of itself. Each piece falls away. This pruning may be the LORD giving us a new direction. A new structure. The healing process is much slower, and the pain of the wound is felt deep. On a cherry tree, when a heavy limb is cut off to give the tree a better structure, the sap flows to the wound, actually dripping over and out of the wound. This is the beginning of the healing, the tree’s life blood covering the wound.

And as the limb, the plant, in order to live, it must push on toward a new goal. It must draw deep within for the greatest strength to continue. And a once dormant bud begins to sprout forth, developing into the new branch, the new direction, the new purpose, with the same goal. To produce more fruit.

PRUNING: 3 steps forward and 2 steps back

We each have experienced God’s working in our lives. We have all experienced change. Sometimes we feel that we take three steps forward and two steps back. Sometimes we may need to be taken back even further.


God is in control. We must remember this very important detail. HE is not only the Potter to the Clay, molding and making us. But HE is also the MASTER GARDENER, or ORCHARDIST. Managing HIS family tree. HIS desire is that we as the branches, will produce fruit.


And when we are pruned. Amidst the pain of the wounds it may inflict, We must remember our roots. It is easy for us to find ourselves in a state of self pity when we hit a wall in life’s pathways. But if we remember to keep to the root, to keep our focus upon the Lord, we will draw our strength from HIM.

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