J. Grant Swank, Jr.
". . .every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John l5:l2
When believers as branches continue to take in the daily life flow from trunk Jesus, then they bring forth fruitage to the Father's pleasing.
The more believers remain in close communication with Jesus, the more they are "purged." That is, they are refined in the way; they are matured in matters spiritual; they are tutored in the finer detail of the cross way.
Purging is not always pleasant. It is to bring forth a pleasant result; but the purging itself will be painful.
This is especially the case when purging focuses upon the egocentricity which forever seeks to return as center piece to the believers' very existence.
Jesus is a jealous God. He will not tolerate the human conceit to sit upon His throne. He is Lord God. The throne of the believer's inner room must be reserved only for the eternal royalty. Therefore, when Lord God Jesus insists that pride removes itself from the pivotal position, such will bring its own pain.
That pain will cause the sensitive soul to wince, even at times to cry out in excruciating agony. In that reaction is the telling of what choice believer will then make. Will believer give in to pride or oust pride on the spot? The former is extremely hurtful to King Jesus. The latter is most reassuring to King Jesus.
And so the purging must continue for the good of the branches, also for the producing of holy fruitage. In all situations, Father must be pleased. There is nothing which can detract from blessing Father God.
Consequently, indwelling Spirit of Jesus, having been true to Father's will while on earth, will continue to be true to Father's goal in believer's soul. There can be no compromise with deity. He must be true to His own integrity. His holy character demands it.
Therefore, cross carrier realizes from the start that when Jesus instructs to deny self-absorption, such commission is operative till the close of earthly sojourn. There can be no letting up for any reason. Self-surrender must be daily discipline in order to remain Christian.
In that course, cross bearer understands that on-going, in-depth purging will take place. Sometimes it will be extremely intense in order to see through the deeper works of purification.
When Paul wrote that he sought to live out Christ, he was confessing to coming under the personal purging. He was undergoing surgery of the human spirit. Paul, being particularly headstrong, ambitious, intelligent, and persistent, must have gone under the divine knife on numerous occasions in order to witness to the sanctification enjoyed. Through it all, Paul gave thanks to heaven for seeing through the severe work.
So it is with the cross carrier. The cross is meant to cut deeply, completing its surgery in order to lead to resurrection presence. It is the way of earth's travels when such are intersected by heavenly parenting. Father knows that we grace children must be governed in such a way of purification that nothing can deter the purging. Purging yields increased fruit, the most precious being the total obedience to the indwelling Christ King.