I Will spend a little more time on the vine! (Which spiritually speaking has to be good) One thing of interest in vine care is that the older and more mature the vine, the more the branches need to be heavily pruned. The reason? Well one reason is they produce more growth, or ‘stuff’ as I call it. But for higher fruitfulness a lot of this stuff needs to go.
Let me quote Bruce Wilkinson. “Did you know that growers prune their vineyards more intensively as the vines age? One horticultural bulletin I read explains why: The vine’s ability to produce growth increases each year; but without intensive pruning the plant weakens and its crop diminishes. Mature branches must be pruned hard to acheive maximum yields. Bruce continue’s ‘If you look at the future from a maturing plants point of view, there’s considerable cutting in store’ [Secrets of the vine]
So, the more mature and older branches potentially can produce the best yields. (There’s hope for me yet!) However, potentially I can produce and hold on to more stuff, which will eventually weaken me and cause me to become more and more fruitless without intensive pruning for greater productivity! So what stuff gets in the way? Well I can only speak for myself, but for one thing, I hold on to is stuff that makes me feel secure, and the older I get the more self-security I want, but God should be my real source of security! Another thing for me that I need pruning is my nostalgia of ‘how great it was but it isn’t now!” In other words my past experiences which were fantastic are holding me back from an even more fantastic fruitful future unless I let them go and move on. On the other hand, there’s a lot of pain and hurts that I hold on to which also are holding me back. That has to be pruned off too!
However, thank the Lord that we can be honest and then lay these things before the Lord and together with Him, deal with them, get them pruned off and move forward in to fruitfulness! ‘Heavenly Father, I recognise my potential for fruitfulness and I am so grateful that in Kingdom economics the older and more mature we become the greater is our potential, unlike the world which treats older more mature folk as has-beens! Father help me to recognise and repent of all the stuff and nonsense that I hold on to but which hinders my fruitfulness. Graciously help me Father I pray in Jesus’ name Amen’.