By Christan Manuel
Christan is a student at the Forerunner School of Ministry in Kansas City, MO.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
The branch was made for the vine and the vine for the branch. Without the vine, the branch can do nothing. And without Christ, we too can do nothing (John 15:5). We must stay connected to the vine (Christ) daily by being nourished in prayer, the Word, and worship.
These are the life and sap that we draw from Him and the Holy Spirit. It is through nurturing these things that we are able to bring forth fruit. All of the fullness and riches of Christ are made available to us through our relationship with Him.
There is a divine exchange of life from the vine to the branch. The vine exists for the branch and the branch exists to bear fruit – for the Glory of His name.
God has a desire to see His people move from a place of anxious laboring to a place of love. He wants lovers much more than He wants laborers. John 15:15 tells us that He no longer calls us servants, but calls us friends; and Hosea 2:16 tells us that we are to no longer call him master, but to call him husband. These scriptures speak to us that He is longing after intimacy with believers.
Not that we would be caught up in or lost in working for Him, but caught up in and lost in loving and worshiping Him and allowing our kingdom labors to flow out of that place. It is in our intimate relationship with Him that he will teach us to find rest and will give to us the strength and power to carry on.
It is this foundation of abiding and having spiritual intimacy with Christ that will sustain us through persecution, conflict, loneliness, warfare and the pressures of the world.
We must train ourselves to operate out of this abiding in the True Vine, that we will love and labor out of the overflow of our divine partnership with Him. Out of our abiding with Christ He will also impart to us the faith to ask Him for Big things and to dream Big dreams.
Just as a child feels that they can ask their father for anything, we too can ask our Abba Father for anything – and can believe that we will receive it. Jesus says that if we believe, we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer. (Matthew 21:22)
May this parable in John 15 unveil our spiritual eyes to see the blessed union that we have with Jesus the living Vine in heaven. This is nothing that we have to accomplish on our own.
My challenge to our generation is that we would allow Jesus to lead us each further and deeper in the truth that He is the one enabling us to abide in Him and to remain in Him.
Take time to reflect upon your relationship with Jesus and to ask, ‘Lord, am I trusting in and leaning upon myself?’ or ‘Am I trusting in you and allowing you to work through me?’ To impact and influence people around the world for God’s kingdom, we must be a generation that is leaning on and abiding in Jesus!