Jesus says “I am the true vine.”
God says “I am the vinedresser.”
You and I say “I will abide in Jesus.”
Have you ever wrestled with discovering the will of the Lord for your life? Read John 15:1-8. In this short passage, we get a clear picture of what God expects. We see the key players and get a powerful image of the great story of God’s redemption. A foundational expectation is established for the follower of Christ, which leads to a growing, thriving relationship with Him and others.
We know that Jesus is the vine and that God the Father is the vinedreser (one who takes care of vines). As the vinedresser, God is always cutting away something. If a branch doesn’t bear fruit, He chops. If a branch does bear fruit, He’s still cutting, only this time He prunes away the undesirable parts of us.
Pruning leads to good fruit. The vine nourishes and provides. God desires healthy, shiny, robust, delicious, and desirable fruit in our lives.
But what are we to do? Squint really hard until the fruit is ripe? That sounds disgusting. The point is this: our job is not to make fruit. We get this mixed up all the time. I need to try being more __________! Noticing a deficiency and working toward a solution is one thing, but that’s not what we’re told to do in John 15.
The instruction: abide in Christ.
To abide is to remain in a relationship, to stick around, to be in. This calls for:
1) Time (in prayer, in scripture, in community)
2) Intention (God, I want what you want for me)
3) Openness to discomfort and even pain (Cut away as you see fit)
4) Simplicity (I’m just a vine! My job is to abide in Him).
So… do it.