I wanted to unpack a bit more about how we can best remain in the vine (John 15:5) so that we can live a life of freedom, a life of bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) for the glory of God!
If you’re reading this and haven’t yet listened to the accompanying podcast, please do take a moment to listen to my message, as this blog will only make sense in light of that!
So, remember, it’s only the root that can produce the fruit! Now there are many ways for us to be closely entwined, connected, intimate with the true vine, Jesus Christ, but here’s just 3 to help you on this journey:
This beautiful word translated from Greek means to lean in to kiss. Think about that for a moment! When we worship Almighty God, it’s like leaning in to kiss Him. When I lean in to kiss my hubby, he knows how loved, how adored, how cherished he is and that my heart and mind are towards him. When we worship Almighty God with all that we are and all that we have, we reveal how loved, how adored, how cherished He is and that our heart and mind are towards Him.
Think about this too… when we lean in to kiss somebody, where are our eyes fixed and focussed? On the person right in front of us. It’s very hard to kiss somebody and keep your eyes on yourself. Pretend right now to lean in and kiss somebody and see if you can keep your eyes on yourself. It just doesn’t work does it! Worship keeps our eyes firmly fixed on the One who is the source of all that we need and desire to be. This focus keeps us intimately connected to the true root who will produce the fruit of His Spirit in us.
The Bible is an amazing long love letter from a Heavenly Father to His children – to you and me! This letter captures the very heart and nature of the One who made you and details the lengths He has gone to, to reveal this incredible love and grace for you. It really is the greatest love letter you’ll ever receive.
Very simply, as we read these precious words from Almighty God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16) we come to really understand and know Him and His ways. Like any relationship in life, the more we know somebody the more connected we become to them! And this is no ordinary connection we’re talking about... this is a divine connection with our Creator. As we read, study and apply His life-shaping words, we are transformed to think, feel, act, respond, speak etc just like Him. And what’s He like again? Full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Better than the not-so-life-giving words of a binge night with a Netflix box set? Nothing wrong with Netflix (anyone else loving Charite?) but please let’s not kid ourselves that this is going to produce the fruit we’re longing for in our life!
What’s one of the primary ways we get to know somebody? We talk to them!! We go out for a coffee or meal together, ask questions about them wanting to know their likes/dislikes, what makes them tick, to hear some of their life experiences etc. This of course is usually a two-way conversation as the other person responds to our questions and then asks us similar questions. I think we can all confidently say that we’ve only ever become really closely connected to people we’ve spent time talking to!
The same of course is true with God. Prayer is an ongoing conversation that strengthens and deepens our knowledge, understanding and personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. The more we talk with Him and listen to Him, the more closely entwined our lives become together – Him as the vine, us as His branches. Let us never forget too what an incredible privilege prayer is. I’m not aware of any of us having the luxury of popping in to Buckingham Palace for a cup of tea with the Queen any time we like, and yet we’ve been given the privilege of chatting 24/7 to the Holy of Holies. WOW!
My hope and prayer for each one of us is that as we utilise the many incredible ways God has given us to know and love Him, that by doing so we will become more like Him, bearing much fruit for His glory! (John 15:8)