GIVING THOUGHT TO ABIDING AND BEARING FRUIT!
“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.“ John15:4
When we take the time to look at the history of Israel and all that God did back there we find that they were given great promises: land, abundance, health, longevity, victory and many other blessings and benefits. There was a stipulation however, that none of these promises would come to pass without the blessing and favor of God. Israel was reminded many times in their history to obey God in order to receive the ‘early and latter rain’ of His blessings (see Deuteronomy 11). His rain (and reign), through their relationship of obedience to Him, would cause them to have a fruitful existence. So Israel was dependent upon the Lord to send rain, and He would do so, so long as they were prepared to obey (or abide in) His law (or instruction) so the fruit would be evident.
If we read John 15 carefully we come to understand that the ability to bear fruit does not lie within ourselves. It lies in our ability to abide in relationship to the Lord Jesus. It is not in our goodness or methodology; it is our abiding in the Lord Himself! Jesus made it clear that He desired fruit from His followers (John 15). He also made it clear that in order to bear fruit His followers would have to abide in Him. Why is that? Fruit is the result of a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
It would seem natural that we would want to emulate successful models in our lives. There seems to be a prevalent practice that has arisen among contemporary churches and believers to study the methods of other churches or believers that are successful. While this practice has some merit, it is worthy to note that there is quite a high rate of failure among those – especially churches – who attempt to emulate the methods of others. I believe God resists our over-dependence upon others and their methodology especially if that dependence becomes a substitute for seeking Him and abiding in Him.
Truly abiding in Christ involves a number of roots that produce healthy spiritual fruit:
● Keeping Him the center of our thoughts and attention.
● Developing a fervent and deeper love for Him alone.
● Studying His word – not how much we’re in the word but how much
of the word is in us!
● A consistency in prayer, praise and worship – being immersed in His presence
always results in supernatural fruit-bearing.
● Being sensitive to hear his voice and do His will – this was always the basis
for Israel’s blessing and is a sure foundation for our fruit-bearing. It is
also a living demonstration of the level of depth in our abiding.
● Allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest His life in and through us freely – to
produce the fruit the sap (symbol of the Holy Spirit) had to flow freely
in the vine.
● Learning to abide in such a way that we manifest His attitudes toward
fellow-believers and those in our society and communities. If we abide
in Him and He abides in us, godliness will be produced in our lives; then
we can be used by the Holy Spirit to help produce it in others.
If we do not abide in Him John 15 reminds us that we can do nothing!! Though we may clothe ourselves with knowledge, the right terminology and activity, we will be severely limited and end up like the leafy fig tree that Jesus cursed for its barrenness. There is an old song based on that story the chorus of which says:
Nothing but leaves for the Master
Oh, how His loving heart bleeds
When instead of the fruit He is seeking
We offer Him nothing but leaves
Let us learn to abide more deeply in Him for the result will be an exciting Christian life and experience that is incomparable and supernatural!!!!
Mmmm …… Think about it!!