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. (John 15:2)


Purging has been interpreted in many ways. The illustration Jesus used was pruning, and some have said purging is a very painful process. The Lord cuts away our flesh and carnal habits with things like sickness, death, poverty, and other forms of tragedy. Then we will bear more fruit. This teaching not only promotes problems as being good and from God but makes them necessary to bear more fruit.

That thinking is not consistent with the rest of God’s Word or even the context of this verse. The text makes it very clear that the purging Jesus spoke of is done through the Word that He has spoken unto us. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, that God’s Word was given to us “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That is God’s method of pruning us, and He doesn’t need the devil’s
help! His Word will make us “perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

If you mistakenly think God is bringing tragedy into your life to make you more fruitful, then you will not resist the enemy, the one who is really bringing them. You can learn from God through trials and tragedy because He is always with you, but that is not His schoolroom. Today, He will teach you through His Word by His Spirit, gently leading you and guiding you through whatever you face.