“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 … 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 … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples … These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 11 (ESV)
After devastating Hurricane Matthew swept through our southeastern states last month, the buzzing of chain saws resounded. Pruning of broken trees was needed to restore them so they would thrive again. Our Father, the vinedresser, wants to see each of His branches thrive. He loves us so much that He is always seeking our best. Pruning those He loves is His way of making more room in our lives for what matters most. We’ve been chosen for a life of significance for Him. The deeper we desire our relationship in Jesus to grow, the more He gives us, and the greater our impact is for His Kingdom.
Unbroken abiding changes the way we pray and with it comes a promise of answered prayer. The true vine is our great High Priest. Seated at the right hand of the throne of our vinedresser, Jesus is interceding for us. When we choose to become one with Him as He is one with the Father, we yield to the power of His Spirit within us. So whatever we ask in Jesus name, He answers our prayers. Nothing pleases our Father more than when we ask for what He wants to give us. Abiding in Christ is the secret of effective prayer and is always answered.
Susanna Wesley was a pastor’s wife and mother of 19 children, including John and Charles, key leaders of the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. Amazingly, she remained committed to spending time alone with Jesus. Daily, she set aside an hour of prayer and devotions in the morning and evening and often during the noonday too! Susanna’s children learned that when she pulled her apron over her head to be alone in prayer, she was not to be disturbed! Her prayers, written in a devotional journal, are a legacy left of her abiding relationship with Jesus. Even in the midst of great challenges and the busyness of life, her passionate prayers reveal her wholehearted submission to Christ and resulted in her joy overflowing.
Pursuing unbroken abiding in Christ changes you from the inside out, and the result is that you’ll become more like Jesus. As you intentionally draw near to God in prayer, your love for the Lord will deepen, and your love for one another will grow. This is how to reach the highest potential for fruitfulness, and to glorify God. Choose to remain connected to the vine, and receive His abounding joy.
Our God Hears,