I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:1
As I conclude my 27 days straight of blog posting, I wanted to end on a thought that has been brewing for a bit. I feel like I’m only just realizing that there’s been a belief I’ve had for some time about following God that isn’t correct. For some reason, I always thought that following God and being a Christian ended at salvation. That you were good, that being saved was what it all was about. But actually, I’m realizing that its only just the beginning!
As this first scripture says, God is the gardener and he prunes branches that bear fruit so that they will be more fruitful. The life of a Christian is about being more fruitful. And what makes a tree more fruitful? Growth. The more you grow, the more fruit you will bear. A small lemon tree that is only three feet high can only produce so many lemons. A lemon tree that is 10 feet tall can produce a lot more lemons. We are never meant to just remain as a seedling in our faith and walk with God—there would be something wrong if a seedling just remained a seedling for its whole life. That is not naturally what it created to do.
Naturally, even we are created to grow. Even from being a baby to a child to an adult, we grow. God has designed it that way. The same is true to spiritually and emotionally, we are meant to grow. Even Jesus says that in order to enter the Kingdom of God, ie the spiritual reality in which God reigns, you must be born again—meaning you must start the process of growth but in the spirit this time.
That is why I love the second scripture, it has become a memory verse of mine. Because it says that we have full access to the Lord, to Jesus, and can now reflect His glory. And as we look at him, we are being transformed into his image. One translation uses the word transfigured, like the Mount of Transfiguration. Are we meant to be transfigured, the same as Jesus, where our faces shine like His did? That sounds like it to me, based on this verse in 2 Corinthians.
Its about transformation, this journey with God. Its about emotionally getting healthier, of dealing with root issues of what may be causing us to operate out of alignment with God. Its about spiritually growing, of growing in awareness of the true authority and dominion God has given us on earth, of growing in our boldness as well as grace. Its about cleaning out the inside of the cup so that what we pour out is clean. That process is hard, as the Bible says, there is more pruning that happens as we grow—but its all about that fruitfulness.
We are meant to reflect the image of Christ, we are meant to be that pure and glorious. And it takes a lifetime of a journey with God through refinement, inner healing, spiritual growth and much more to become like that. So let us not turn down this invitation of transformation and the opportunities in front of us to look inwardly, so we can then look outwardly and reflect what we are becoming.