“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
Sometimes life is a struggle. You may feel like you have to fight in order to stay alive, while at other times you may feel like you need to escape in order to stay safe. In either case, it’s easy to lose your focus on what is really important, and what you are called to do as a believer in Jesus of Nazareth.
The primary directive for you is to simply remain connected to Jesus. Staying connected with Him means pursuing Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It means resting in Him when you feel weak, and leaning on Him when you have no strength. As a branch, you are called to be complete in Him, for you will learn that you can do nothing apart from Him, but rather with Him you can do all things.
The fruit that He bears in you is His fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). When you choose to separate yourself from Him, then His life dries up in you, and you feel depleted. However, when you return to Him and remain with Him, then you realize how dependent you are on Jesus, and you wonder why you ever thought you could live your life apart from Him?
Your Heavenly Father prunes you as a branch because He wants you to bear more fruit. He lifts you up and cleans you off, whenever you look to Him. He gently cares for you, and nurtures you, for though you were lost, you have now been found, and He simply asks you to stay with His Son, so that you can fully mature.
The fruit in your life gives glory to your Father, as it bears witness of the life of His Son. Through you, people will be able to taste and see that God is good, and His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control is what remains because you have chosen to remain in the One True Vine.
So, if your life feels depleted, take a moment to rest in God’s presence. Let Him become your safe dwelling place. Ask Him for His pleasant rest, be open to receiving His tender care, and let Him renew you with His abundant life. Your union with Him will encourage you, bless you, and support you, as you look to Him for everything you need.
I come to you, as I am. Forgive me for trying to go my own way, for I can never be anything without you. I choose to remain in you, just as you desire to remain in me. May my life be a witness of your continued mercy and your lavish grace. Thank you for saving me, and presenting me whole and blameless before my Father in Heaven. May the fruit of your Spirit, bring me abundant life, and may it bring you, glory and honor to your name. Amen.