Before I came to experientially know our Lord Jesus Christ, I never really thought I seriously needed a Savior. Yes, I knew there was God Whom I prayed to in church every Sunday and called upon Him every time I get entangled with challenges in which He faithfully answered me, but until I had a personal encounter with Him, only then I somehow understood how life is to be lived when we are in union with Jesus. It is a life full of love, joy, hope and peace, in spite of what is going on around me.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I CAME that they may HAVE and ENJOY LIFE, and have it IN ABUNDANCE (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 AMPC)
God knew that apart from Him, our lives will never be complete. We may say, “Be content with what we have” and we’ll do well, but until He comes and makes His home in us, there will always be a spot of emptiness. The bible says, “He is our portion.” (Lamentations 3:24). This only means that without Him filling in that designated portion that only He can perfectly fit and fill, we will never find satisfaction. When we become one with Him, His lordship in our lives will influence our every desire, every dream, every thought that we think, every word that we speak and everything that we do. The more know Him, the more we become like Him.
Jesus spoke these words …
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:5-8)
If He called us branches, then our dependency to the Vine is an utmost necessity. Picture this with me, if we cut a branch from the tree, it may survive for a little while, but eventually it will dry up and die. How then can a branch survive independent of its life source, let alone bear fruit? Therefore, He said, “without Me you can do nothing.”
Oh well, one may say, “I can do this or that apart from God.”. Yes, you can do the things within the limitations of human capacity. But what God fashioned and anointed us to do is to believe Him and love Him with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength which is in response to His great love for us by giving us His only beloved and begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He called us to love each other as Christ loves us. This in itself is impossible to do without His grace and His anointing in our lives. He called us to love the unlovable, to pray for those who persecute us, to forgive those who have wronged us 70×7 daily, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse the lepers, to cast out demons, to speak in new tongues, to pick up snakes, to declare a thing and it shall be established, to name a few. We are BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING. We are His hands and feet on the earth. We are carriers of His will and His desire. But most importantly, we need to put into consideration that His way of doing things is not in and of our own ability. Left on our own, it is futility. Hence, it is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.
Look at Moses. How did he part the Red Sea? “And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exodus 14:15-16)
Look at David. He killed a lion and a bear with bare hands. He killed Goliath with a sling and a single stone. Hmmm … Did He do it in his own ability? No way! At a young age, this is how he fought Goliath. “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). This was the power backing up the sling and the stone.
Look at Samson. He used the jawbone of a donkey in his hand, a single man, to slay a thousand Philistines. (Judges 15:15-16)
Look at Elisha. When one of his men was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed. So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it. (2 Kings 6:5-7)
Look at Paul and Silas. As they were in prison, about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:25-26)
Look at Peter. While He and John were on the way to the temple at the hour of prayer, a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple. “Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)
Look at Jesus. He walked on earth as a Son of Man and “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38) Jesus did all the miracles, signs and wonders as a Man. He used mud to open blind eyes. He sent His Word to heal us and to deliver us from all destruction. A woman came to Him to touch the hem of his robe and was healed. All that He did were powerful demonstrations of what it means to be a disciple, a believer of His.
“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:20)
You are I are invited to move and live and have our being in Him, abiding in Him that we may bear much fruit and glorify our Father.
Indeed, “God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” (1 Corinthians 1:27) What appears to be insignificant and weak is how the way God works. This way, man cannot take credit, but all glory is directed to Him to Whom all glory is due.
All these are made possible when we come to have a revelation on the truth of what it means to have Christ living inside us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said to His disciples, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may ABIDE WITH YOU FOREVER— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)
But much more than what we can do IN HIM and THROUGH HIM, His utmost delight and desire is when our lives are lived in intimate relationship with Him. It is when our hearts are offered fully to Him, for where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Matthew 6:21). It is our very presence in His presence is what matters most to Him. It is seeing Him face to face in His word. It is hearing Him speak into our hearts with His still small voice and we respond in love. It is truly us ABIDING in Him and BELONGING to Him is what captivate His heart.
“Your real source of joy isn’t merely that these spirits submit to your authority, but that your NAMES are written in the journals of heaven and that you BELONG to God’s kingdom. This is the true source of your authority.” (Luke 10:20 TPT)
Abiding in the Vine means we cannot tell when the Vine ends and the branch begins because their fibers intertwine and interconnect. It is a seamless connection. It is living in the conscious presence of the Spirit of God in a place where there is NO effort to pick up His heart, NO effort to think His thoughts that reproduces Jesus in and through us.
Abiding in Him means we will be fully filled with Jesus’ thoughts, desires, will and His Word is treasured, rooted and grounded in our hearts. His Word becomes the final authority in our lives that supercedes every thought and opinion that go against it.
Abiding in Him means that His heart and mind are interlocked with ours that He will give us the checkbook of blank checks knowing that we will never ask anything that is contrary to what gives Him delight. Thus, His Word says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
Abiding in Him means we get to bear much fruit. The life-giving sap flows freely from the Vine into the branches where fruit is produced. Branches are called to be fruit hangers. No branch eats its own fruit. The fruit is meant to be consumed by the ones around us. When they taste and see that the fruit is good, then they get to see and partake of the goodness of God in our lives and know that JESUS IS ALIVE in and through us.
Abiding in Him means that He reproduces in us Himself. “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) We reproduce His thoughts, His ways, His integrity, His purity, His obedience and His love. Our lives become invitations of what it means to have Jesus, the One True God living inside us.
Abiding in Him means that we get to be like Him just as He originally ordained us to be, created according to His image and likeness. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). Christians are called to be Christ-like beings, from faith to faith, from glory to glory.
The secret to abiding in Him is to “SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
The Amplified Classic Version says, “Seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”
He desires for His Kingdom ways to invade the earth, that we may do what He originally created us to be and to do, but not until we abide in Him and His Word abide in us, nothing can be accomplished. He said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) Until we believe and receive what has been given, we will never benefit from it.
Why not intentionally find time to quiet ourselves in His presence, enjoy His company to the fullest, praise and worship Him, dance with Him, meditate His Word day and night, get to lock our minds and our hearts with Him Who delightfully reveals Himself freely and affectionately.
Let us be determined to stay focused on Who He is. When we pursue Him, we will never miss Him. I believe He is too big for us not to see Him. He will make sure He will be in the middle of the road to be found.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for passionately pursuing us. Thank You for setting us up in places where we get to encounter You or with people who are fruit hangers of Your glory that we may continually taste and see Your goodness. Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible for us to come to the Father freely and boldly because of Your finished work done at the cross. Indeed, Your suffering, death and resurrection paved the way for us to have life and have it more abundantly. Come, Lord Jesus, and make Your home in me. Come and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending us Your Spirit to abide in us forever. Holy Spirit, have Your way in our lives. Lead us in the way that we should go that we may bear much fruit unceasingly. Amen!
Photo Credits: Melai GF