Abiding In The Vine
“I Am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He (God) takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”- Jesus
Jesus is showing us the emphasis that God has placed on bearing fruit and that it is the outward sign of where our hearts are. Anyone can call themselves a Christian but it is the fruit of our lives that will show whether we truly are. In fact, God says that every branch in Him that does not bear fruit will be removed which is even more thought provoking. For if a branch already was with Him but stopped abiding in Him it would cease to bear fruit and be removed. Certainly a word of warning to us not to take our daily walk with God for granted. Ezekiel 33:13 puts it even more clearly. “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.” This is where the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom as Solomon says.
So what does it mean to abide in the vine and how do we do it? To abide in the vine is to take our time for seeking the Lord, seriously. It is to make time for Him everyday where we put aside everything in order to be with Him. What friendship have you ever had where spending time with that person no longer mattered? A true friend desires to spend time with you even when it is not possible because of time or distance. So also, our relationship with God does not grow without an effort to make time for Him. So why can it be so difficult to make time for God? It is because we have an enemy who tries to fill our time with pressing things, and other loves that will consume our time that we could use to spend with the Lord. We pursue a sport or a romance or our career as if these things are truly the only thing that will keep us alive or are worth living for. How can we tell if these things have become too important? Look at your reaction if they are taken away. We fall into despair – you got injured and your future in that sport is lost forever, the person of your dreams has left you, someone has seen your business idea, liked it, copied it, and is now undercutting your business. Just look at your response to these things. Anger, despair, getting even, anger at God for not stepping in, these reactions show what our hearts are in love with. The only way to let go of them is to start spending time with God on a daily basis. As we spend time with Him He places His hand upon us and removes the despair and bitterness and frustration from our spirit and replaces it with His peace. He is able to do the impossible – which is to bring peace and contentment back into our lives. Our hearts let go and are free to take hold of Him and to enjoy His company. The more faithful we are to spend time with Him the more often we enjoy this peace and contentment and the more we look forward to being with Him. This is the beginning of true love for our Savior. Not just the first love of being saved by what He did for us, but a sustainable and ever-growing daily love relationship with Him. The more time we spend with Him the deeper it grows and we find it is not possible to get to the end of it! With the pleasures of this world you reach the maximum it can offer in literally moments, but with God you can never get to the end of it. With God’s love you will never find the end where you feel empty and have to find some new love.
So let us start spending more time with Him and enjoy the everlasting blessing He has given us which is to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe! And let us bear much fruit which grows so naturally as we abide in Him. God bless you all!