In John 15, Jesus says that he is the True Vine, his Father is the gardener, and those who abide in him will bear much fruit – a life lived with the love, joy, and peace of Christ himself. He goes even further to say (John 15:7) “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
It’s worth reading that again and allowing it to sink in for a moment.
Not only will abiding in Him (remaining close to Jesus) provide us with His character, but when we abide in Him and allow His words and His voice to abide in us, anything we ask, God will hear it and respond and it will come to pass. That is more than an encouraging word; that is a powerful promise! However, this isn’t a “name it and claim it” or “gab it and grab it” type of promise. The promise comes with an important condition. It says if you abide in Him and His words abide in you — those are the conditions for having the things that you desire and ask for be established. If you’re abiding in Him and His words are abiding in you, there will be an alignment between your desires and God’s will for you in every aspect of your life. When that alignment takes place, what you ask for and declare in Jesus’ name will be done as it is the will of the Father.
Abiding in Him is what was missing for me personally for many years. Although I grew up in church, accepted Jesus Christ as my savior in elementary school, loved the Lord, desired to please him, and had quite a bit of “head knowledge” regarding the scriptures, it took a radical encounter with God a few years ago (shared in my last guest post for A Little R&R) to shift my thinking and change the condition of my heart. I’ve never been the same since.
That encounter took place in September 2012 and over the next two years, I felt like a baby in Christ going through an amazingly rapid series of growth spurts as I yielded my heart to the Lord and made intimacy with Him my priority. For me, this was through increased prayer, turning my worries into worship throughout the day, reading the Word of God more regularly (asking the Holy Spirit to bring a deeper of understanding as I was reading it), acknowledging and being more aware of His presence, and having an open ear to the Holy Spirit so that I could be led while doing the everyday things in my personal and business life.
He took me on a journey of learning how to hear and respond to His voice and He presented with me with a number of opportunities (in business, ministry, and personal matters) to make a choice to be obedient or be comfortable. Many times the choice to be obedient was a choice to do something that didn’t even make much sense to me! It wasn’t easy to be stretched. There were plenty of tears, plenty of phone calls to close friends to pray with me for courage, and a little bit of whining too. However, when I focused on the One who had already proven to be overwhelmingly loving and abundantly faithful, I moved forward in boldness and things ultimately worked out fine and often better than I’d imagined. Through the rockiest of moments, I received revelation and experiential knowledge of my God as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who sees, goes before me, and makes provision for me. I also became intimately acquainted with God as Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of peace.
In January of this year, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do and the response was simply “It’s time for you to dream again” and then this was confirmed through multiple prophetic words I received where He shared that because I have His heart and because my motivation has a Kingdom purpose behind it, I am free to do what’s on my heart and He’ll back me up.
I’m still processing how absolutely amazing that is and I’m excited about this adventure in continuing to grow with God. There is no greater freedom found than the freedom in abiding in Jesus Christ. When you’re abiding in the True Vine:
You begin to understand and experience what the heart of the King looks and sounds like.
You will have an open ear to the Holy Spirit’s course correction when you’re getting off track.
You will pray more boldly (and believe that He has already answered them).
You will take bolder action (and believe that He’s got you covered).
You will have personal encounters with God that you’ve never experienced before.
You will love, give, and transform lives around you in ways you’ve never done before.
When you’re abiding in the True Vine, the “real you” (who you are in Christ) is revealed and you will wreak havoc on the enemy’s plans. We can’t afford to discount the power of abiding in the Vine. The world is in desperate need of the “real you” shining light in areas of darkness, manifesting the realities of Heaven on the earth, and bringing glory to and re-presenting the One who holds the world and your life in His hands.