“I am the vine: you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Corrie Ten Boom, one of my favorite warriors of the faith, wrote about keeping in that abiding relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit:
If the connection between the branch and the vine remains, the fruit comes from the vine. The vine does everything and the branch much keep connected with it. That electric lamp does not help the generator; the generator does not help the lamp. The generator gives all the power. The lamp must only be connected.
You do not help the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not help you. The Holy Spirit does everything–the only condition is that you must keep in contact…(hence we are not good if we are detached from this abiding relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit).
This is what I have been processing the most this last week, this Holy Spirit connection. As I’ve been reading JD Greear’s book, Jesus Continued…Greear repeats what Corrie Ten Boom said decades ago. Greear has written about not just going out and doing things for God out of guilt, striving to please God, some kind of performance issue, or whatever thing that would drive us to go out and try to do something for God–but to actually wait for the Holy Spirit like they did at Pentecost and let Him tell us what to do.
Then instead of doing things for God, He sends us out and He does things through us. And then we bear fruit, as John 15:5 talks about. If we sit at Jesus’ feet first, like Mary did (Luke 10:38-41) He’ll tell us what to do and where to go. He leads; we follow. He commands; we obey. He supplies; we steward. He delivers; we worship.
It seems to me that the sitting at Jesus’ feet thing is the hardest part of the whole Christian life. The waiting and listening and then going. The being in the Bible, listening to the voice of the Spirit and then obeying. That’s like the trifecta.
The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. First off, everything else calls for our attention to keep us from getting into the Bible. We oversleep, we hit the snooze, or we have to get to work early. Then when we do get in the Word, our mind jumps to our to-do list, or to how someone else who needs to read this, or we run out of time so quickly. And then the Holy Spirit puts an application on our heart. An act of obedience, a prompting of some sort. An apology that we need to make, a phone call that we should make to someone that will need to talk for a long time, someone who needs a visit that doesn’t have long to live and needs to hear about Jesus…
But when we walk in the Spirit and set our minds on things of the Spirit as a pattern of our lives, the result is life and peace, as Romans 8:6 promises. It is a life filled with fruit, as John 15:5 states, and John 15:7 goes on to say, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Answered prayer. Who doesn’t want answered prayer?
Stay attached to Jesus through being in the Bible daily, listening and waiting on the voice of the Holy Spirit, and then obeying His leading. If you do, you’ll bear much fruit. Otherwise, we are not good if detached…