John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” The little word “IF” precedes this profound statement of Jesus. There have been times when we have all failed in this and prayed unanswered prayers because we failed to fulfill the terms and conditions Jesus teaches us here. He instructs us to “abide” in Him and His words to abide in us – only from this position can we see clearly from God’s perspective what to pray for. When I am operating in the flesh instead of the spirit, I have ceased to abide in Jesus, the Vine, my prayers remain unanswered and my life does not produce fruit.
A policeman is a representative of the law of the land. He has a delegated authority and because of that we have to respect him and uphold the law, or face the consequences. God has laws for our benefit and blessing and He has presented this one to us, to abide in Him. Only from this position can we “ask what we will and it will be done unto us.” Have I arrived at this place? Not permanently, no. Most of us are in measure, like taps/faucets turning on and off.
I CANNOT ABIDE IN THE VINE AND WALK IN THE FLESH! Death to the self life is a choice. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Dying to self is gain, in our walk with the Lord.
John 15:4 Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you except you abide in me.” In the next verse, 5: Jesus states that without Him we can do nothing but if we abide in Him our lives will produce much fruit, an automatic benefit from abiding in Him, and our Heavenly Father is glorified as our lives honour Him.
“Abiding” is a new way of living our lives to the glory of God. It needs to become our lifestyle as we grow in His grace. We need God’s grace to let go of so many things that hold/rule/control us. As I choose to surrender unconditionally, God comes along side of my choice and His Holy Spirit anoints me with His enabling strength and grace for every situation. As I abide in the Vine, I discover the sweetness of surrender for it contains the essence of His joy and the fragrance of His peace…..the evidence of His presence within me and divine strength to do His will.
Jesus declared the kingdom of God is within us. Luke 17:20-21 “…..The kingdom of God does not come with observation… for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” When we are “abiding” in Jesus we observe where others are but we do not judge them. The fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives when abiding, is the character of the living Christ being formed in us. When our lives produce much fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5: 22-26) we no longer pursue the gifts of the Spirit. As we learn to abide, we recognise that the Giver of all the gifts of the Spirit is resident within us, and at any given time the Lord Jesus may operate through us, in any gift He chooses to.
As we grow in His grace and His fruit is produced in our lives, we learn not to withhold the fruit to anyone, knowing it is given to be shared with others. Our Heavenly Father will send people across our paths in every day life…..just keep giving His fruit away….whether it be family, friends, strangers, the undeserving….just keep giving the fruit away. God will uphold His word: “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, running over….” Luke 6:38. You cannot out give God, but when you are abiding, you cannot help but give to others. The abiding life of Christ within seeks another to pour out His love upon. The more I abide in the Vine, the less I will see of my flesh life on my journey to His fullness….in me! Christ in me the hope of glory! He makes the impossible possible! Hallelujah!