A weeping, flowering cherry tree is one of the most beautiful of all of the ornamental trees. We bought my mother-in-law one for Mother’s Day many years ago. She was so excited. Being a certified nurseryman, I planted the tree exactly the way it should be done. The next year it bloomed nicely—and even better the next year. 

However, after about four or five years, my mother-in-law called me right after the tree had bloomed. She expressed concern because the tree barely bloomed at all that spring. In fact, she said it was pitiful. The next time we went for a visit, I took my pruning clippers and small pruning saw. While she watched, I got the ladder and went to work. Several times I heard her say, “O my,” and “O dear.”

Correct, effective pruning is different than just “shearing” the tree to look like a lollipop. There are two basic types of branches that need to be removed. The first is a branch that is growing the wrong direction. These branches rub the other branches and can cause disease. They also block out the sunlight that is needed for flower buds to form. 

The other type of branch to prune is a “sucker” branch that shoots out beneath the graft. These branches are incredibly dangerous to the life of the tree. They will draw all of the strength and energy from the tree into themselves, and the tree will often die—but only above the graft, which is where the blooms grow. 

When I completed pruning, there were enough trimmings to fill a pickup truck. My mother-in-law had gone inside and explained to the rest of the family that she was very sure I had killed her tree. I told her to trust me, but it was pretty obvious that I had lost “favorite son-in-law” status.

Then, nine long months later, I received a phone call from her. She was so excited. Her tree had bloomed—and not just bloomed. It was covered in so many blooms that it looked like a huge pink snowball. And my “status” was instantly reinstated (whew).

John 15 says that we are the vine, and that our heavenly Father is the Vinedresser. Verse 2 says that “every branch that bears fruit (blooms), He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit (bloom even more)” (NASB, emphasis added).

Hebrews 12 tells us that the Father disciplines the children He loves. We picture that as the proverbial “spanking,” or punishment. In reality, the word discipline has the same root as the word disciple. Our Father loves us so much that He wants to disciple us—and sometimes He uses pruning to do just that. 

He prunes the “branches” of our lives that are growing the wrong way. He prunes the branches that are growing from beneath the “graft,” sprouting out of our flesh. This pruning is not done to hurt us or punish us. We are not being sent into the corner, grounded until we decide to “be good.” No! That’s not it at all. He is simply pruning us to make us more like His Son. He lovingly disciples us to look and act like Jesus. How deeply He loves us! He loves us enough to prune branches that have some blooms—in order that we can have many blooms.

This week in your Christ walk journey, understand that the “testing and trial” time that you are going through may in fact be a time of pruning. Try to understand that this is a sure sign that your Father loves you—that He desires for you to “bloom.” Not just a few small simple blooms, but tons of blooms with lots of fruit.

Perhaps some of your branches have begun to grow in the wrong direction. Or maybe your flesh has “sprouted” a branch that, if left un-pruned, would drain the strength out of your spirit and your spiritual life. It’s an unholy branch that would eventually destroy your effectiveness, causing you to have no beautiful blooms and no fruit. Blooms display a healthy, vibrant, intimate walk.

Relax! Your Father is lovingly pruning you. When the “springtime” of your journey comes around again (and it will), you will bloom more beautifully than ever. I promise.


This week thank God that He prunes the “branches” of your life that are growing the wrong way, and that He knows what He is doing to get the most beautiful results. Determine to stay connected to the vine (Jesus) so that you can produce the abundance of fruit He desires for you.

Continue to pray for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit around the world, and especially in our own country. Pray that the body of Christ would unite in prayer and purpose to see God’s will done on earth as in heaven. Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the upcoming elections. John 15; Heb. 12;  I Tim. 2:1-4

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout DemonsPrayers that Bring HealingPrayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to 500savingschallenge.com to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit