"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:7(NASB)
In a few short verse the believer is called and challenged to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love - to abide in ME. The vine was an important symbol, which ran through Old Testament scripture.. and Israel was the one whom Isaiah described as 'the choicest vine.' Israel was chosen by God to be a fruitful vine, and they were expected to bring forth good fruit for His glory.. but Israel brought forth wild grapes and had to be trampled down and laid waste.
Centuries later we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the exact radiance of God's glory and identified as God's true Vine. Christ's life becomes the perfect fulfilment of these Old Testament shadows where God the Father continues to be the heavenly Vinedresser.. tending to the true Vine, in order to bring forth the fruit of righteousness through Him. Indeed the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.. against which there is no law - fruit which is only produced in us as we abide in Christ and He in us.
As members of Christ's Body we are one with Him.. and our mission is to do His work on earth and bring forth the fruit of righteousness. And as branches on the true Vine we are likewise one with Christ, and are reminded many times that producing the fruit of righteousness it is not through our own efforts but only we remain in HIM and as His Word abide in us. Christ spoke only those things that He heard from the Father. Christ only did those things that he heard from the Father and in everything Christ's prayer was translated into the desire of the Father - for He prayed: Thy will not Mine be done.
We were also told that.. on condition that we abide in Christ, and His words abide in us to, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Not only will we produce fruit of righteousness but abiding is closely linked with the prayer of the righteous man.. and maintaining close fellowship with the Lord. But the words of our lips, the thoughts of our mind, the meditation of our heart and the prayers that we offer up to the Lord are to focus on Him and to be a reflection of His will and His greater purposes.
It is not by personal performance, might or merit that we are 'fruitful.' It is not by our own effort or strength that we produce the good works that glorify God.. for God is the one that not only plans our fruitfulness but He is also the One that causes us to be fruitful - as we abide in Him, and He in us.. which in time will be translated into rewards for those that are faithful.. at the judgement seat of Christ. We are to live and work and have our being in Christ.. as the old, egotistical self remains nailed to the cross.. and the beautiful mind of Christ is increasingly formed in us.
The Lord Himself enables us to be fruitful as we carry out the good works that He Himself has prepared for us to do. It is God Who works in us, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.. and He enables us to produce good fruit to the glory of God. But the way to be fruitful in our Christian life is to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love - to abide in ME and I in you.
To abide in the true Vine and to have Him abide in us is two sides of the same coin. Only as we submit to God and allow Him to work His good work through us, are we enabled to live as He lived.. doing the will of the Father and bearing much fruit to His glory.. Indeed we know that we are God's handiwork, and are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God Himself prepared in advance for us to do.
Christ's abiding in us is dependent on our abiding in Him. This mutual fellowship and intimate communion is conditional upon each one of us dying to self and living for Him alone.. And when we are enabled to abide in Him and He in us we will ask whatever we wish and it will be done - because our heart will reflect the heart of Christ.. our choices will reflect the will of God and our prayers will pray into the very issues that are closest to the heart of the Lord Himself.. as in His power and might we abide in Him and He in us - to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ.. but I realise that my thoughts need to be aligned to Your thoughts... my heart needs to be reflecting Your heart.. my mind needs to become the very mind of Christ.. so that my prayers can say with honesty and faith.. Thy will not mine be done, as I pray into Your will.. so that whatsoever I ask may be done to honour You. Thank You in Jesus name, AMEN.
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