“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit … Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1, 4-5
He is the vine and we are the branches. Jesus is the vine and you are the branch. Why don’t you take this in for a minute … Take a minute to meditate on this truth and picture it in your mind’s eye. This is a core truth of our identity! We are branches that are one with the Vine, get life from the Vine, and that are defined by the Vine (i.e. If the vine is a grapevine then the branches must produce grapes).
I recently heard a pastor say that as a branch on the Vine, we don’t strive to produce fruit. Wouldn’t it be silly for a branch on an olive tree to worry, stress out, and try really hard to produce olives? Does a branch on an apple tree have to strive to produce apples? What if the branch was connected to the healthiest trunk that contained all the necessary nutrients and life-giving properties to produce a harvest?
“I am the vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5). As branches on the Vine, we don’t have to strive to produce fruit. We just have to “be”. It’s completely natural for an olive branch to produce olives. In a sense, the branch can “rest” in knowing that it’s completely connected to the olive tree, has all the nutrients it needs from the trunk, and that it will naturally produce olives because of this. If will flourish and produce a harvest because of the nutrients abundantly flowing from the trunk into it.
As I was studying some Scripture about the vine and branches, Holy Spirit gave me revelation from Galatians 5. In verses 16-26 it talks about walking by the Spirit and by the flesh. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience … and all the wonderful aspects of God. The fruits of the flesh are disease, destruction, and death (the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy – John 10:10). Holy Spirit was opening my eyes to see that as children of God, we now live from a new source, connected to a new vine, for the Scripture says, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh” (Galatians 5:24). We used to be connected to the flesh, producing the fruit of death and disease- this might look like sexual immorailty, impurity, sorcery, anger, envy, or idolatry – BUT NOW we are connected to the Spirit and produce the fruit of life from God Himself – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and more!
I feel that if we just meditated on our new identity – that is, that we are now one with Jesus as the Vine and that the Spirit of God has made us alive to produce the fruit of God – then we would find rest and see His fruit come both freely and naturally in our lives. Maybe we could sort of “get out of the way”, settle into the Vine, and let His life-giving nutrients flow into us to produce fruit.
He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It’s all found in Him! Rest and receive His life and get ready for a harvest of fruit! Thank Him today for being the vine and providing abundantly. Thank Him for His resurrection life that he’s freely given to you.
Published on 3/30/18