Pruning For Growth (1)
Shane M. Oberlin

Shane M. Oberlin

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” –John 15:1-2 (NASB)

As I approach my final months in Wales, this truth has been reverberating throughout my being. I have been learning how to remain rooted in The Lord while facing the challenges of adjusting to a brand-new culture and intense schedule of ministry.

While I am unsure about what the next step looks like, I am sure of this…

WHEN THE LORD DOES THE PRUNING, HE DOES IT FOR GROWTH.

Just like workers in the vineyard, God makes each cut with the greatest intentions in mind. He prunes to bring about the greatest possible results, even though we may not always define growth in the same way (especially in the church).

Ben Jack, Director of the ADVANCE network of evangelists (which I am privileged to be part of) said it like this. “In the Church, when we talk about multiplication, we usually mean addition.”

Often, our focus lies in growing things on our terms, when what constitutes “growth” to us could be holding us back from obtaining the fullest measure of what God desires for us. Bigger isn’t always better. When we grow something, there is an innate pressure to continue sustaining it. When God grows something, He sustains it (and us!) and we don’t have to struggle or strive beneath the weight of it. What a liberating thing!

The pruning often manifests in different ways. For me, one of those ways is through sowing and reaping. The Lord began to reveal to me times in my own life where I reaped a harvest from a field where I didn’t sow the seed. I received great benefits from the time, treasure, and talents of those who went before me in many assignments (including this one), and I am forever grateful for their investments.

I am very confident that I would have never completed my first book, Becoming BREAKTHROUGH” without the lessons imparted to me by so many amazing spiritual fathers and mothers along the way. They took the time to recognize my gift for writing, and to empower and encourage me in my passion by providing ample opportunities for me to hone my talents.

Now, it is time for me to learn the flip-side of this lesson; how to sow seeds into a field where I won’t see the harvest first-hand. While this can be a disappointing and frustrating lesson for me at times, my sole aim should be obedience, not who gets the credit or recognition for the work that I have done. God keeps perfect books, and His accounts are flawless.

Since we labor in His harvest field, we are workers who are worthy of our wages (Luke 10:7). So, I don’t have to worry about missing out on the great things that are yet to come in this beautiful nation, because my seeds are already in the ground. I can’t wait to see what God does with them!

SHANE M. OBERLIN

SHANE M. OBERLIN

is a devoted lover of Jesus who seeks to impact the world through writing, the prophetic, counseling, travel, speaking, and song.

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