God doesn’t desire for us to reach some pre-determined level of “goodness” and merely settle. So often we achieve something and then we just sit.
As I read my bible this morning as part of my regular schedule I read John 15, and I came across an interesting verse. John 15:2 says
“Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”
The first part of that verse is pretty harsh but understandable. The second half is the more interesting one. It is saying that even the people (branches represent people in this passage) that are doing good things and following God, and being fairly Godly, God wants them to be and do more. So he prunes them. He works in their lives to remove the bad things, the dead things, the things that aren’t good, that aren’t producing good things. He does this so that more resources ( time, money, energy etc) can be funneled into those areas that are producing the most good things and so that new areas may be started.
If your not a person that has much experience caring for fruit plants you might not fully appreciate this illustration. A fruit plant will grow bigger each year. It will have more and more branches more and more leaves and just generally be bigger. That plant like people has to maintain all of itself, even the parts that aren’t doing what the farmer wants it to do and that is to produce fruit. In fact if the plant isn’t well maintained it will be very large but won’t produce much fruit at all because the plant is spending all of its resources maintaining the plant and it doesn’t have enough left over to produce fruit.
The only way to fix this is to cut the plant down and the next year the plant will produce much fruit.
In our own lives God has to work cutting things out, activities, relationships, traits, habits etc, that are not the most beneficial so that the most beneficial things can flourish.
Think about your life. What aspects are the most beneficial for God? What areas might He want to make a change?