The next thing the Father does is purge or prunes it. The Greek word for this is katharizo, which means to cleanse, make clean, or purify. We have the English word “catharsis.” The normal usage of this word means the act of cleansing the vine of anything that is harmful to it. This would include insects, moss, etc. When it is used to describe work on a vine and its branches, it is hard to escape the feeling that pruning is probably also in view. The Father is said to be doing a work of removal. The removal of everything would prove detrimental.
Looking at this from a spiritual perspective, it refers to God’s work in removing that, which is spiritually detrimental from a given Christian’s life. Our bad habits are stripped away. Our priorities are reordered, and our values are changed. It can mean the removal of some friends. They might be hindering instead of advancing our spiritual growth.
The order of these activities of the Father is most important. The reverse produces hypocrisy. We must first be drawn to God in true devotion. Otherwise, we will see ourselves as most saintly. This may not be the truth. We can consider others very worldly in light of how we see ourselves.
Drawing near to God will cause us to become more productive. When this happens, we hardly feel the bad things being pruned away. It is a case of spiritual maturing, which includes things being removed from our lives. As we grow, we seek new things and new habits. Dead wood and parasites fall off.
Cleansing takes place. We are cleansed by the Word of God. Unless we see that the Word must cleanse us, our ideas of purity are fabricated and not of God’s origin. Such activity is ineffective. David asked the question: “How can a young man keep his way pure?” He answered, “By living according to your word” Psalm 119:9. Jesus said to His disciples “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” John 15:3. It will take a careful attention to and application of God’s Word. Nothing else will cleanse us.