Abide and Ask
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and
it shall be done for you.
John 15:7 NKJV
A few short verses call and challenge the believer to abide in Christ, in the Vine, in His love, and in Him. In the Old Testament, the vine was a significant symbol, and Isaiah referred to Israel as “the finest vine.” God chose Israel to be a productive vine, and they were expected to produce wonderful fruit for His glory. However, Israel produced wild grapes that had to be destroyed.
Eons later, we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ, the exact brilliance of God’s glory, and the real Vine of God. Christ’s life is the complete fulfillment of these Old Testament types in which God the Father continues to be the heavenly Vinedresser, tending to the genuine Vine to produce righteousness through Him. Indeed, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, against which there is no law. This fruit is only developed as we abide in Christ and He in us.
As members of Christ’s body, our mission is to carry out His work on Earth and produce the fruit of righteousness. And as branches on the genuine Vine, we are also one with Christ, and we are repeatedly reminded that it is not by our efforts that we produce the fruit of righteousness but because we remain in HIM, and His Word abides in us. Christ merely spoke what He had heard from the Father. Christ only did those things that He heard from the Father, and in every instance, Christ’s prayer was translated into the Father’s wish, for He prayed, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”
We were also assured that provided we remain in Christ and His words remain in us, we can ask for anything, and it will be granted. Not only will we produce the fruit of righteousness, but our perseverance is intimately tied to the virtuous man’s prayer and maintaining close fellowship with the Lord. But the words of our mouths, the thoughts of our minds, the meditation of our hearts, and the
prayers that we present to the Lord should be centered on Him and reflect His will and His more significant intentions.
We are not “fruitful” due to our performance, ability, or merit. God is the one who not only designs our fruitfulness but also causes us to be fruitful as we dwell in Him and He in us which will eventually be translated into rewards for the faithful at the judgment seat of Christ. We are to live, move, and have our being in Christ while the old, egotistical self stays nailed to the cross and the lovely mind of Christ is developed in us more and more.
The Lord empowers us to be prolific as we carry out the excellent deeds He has set for us to perform. God works in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and He helps us to produce exceptional fruit for His honor. But the path to fruitfulness in the Christian life is abiding in Christ, abiding in the Vine, abiding in His love, abiding in ME and I in you.
To abide in the genuine Vine and for Him to abide in us are the same. Only when we surrender to God and allow Him to accomplish His good work through us can we live as He did, carrying out the Father’s purpose and producing much fruit for His glory. We see that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to carry out the good deeds that God Himself predestined for us to perform.
Christ’s presence in us is contingent upon our presence in Him. This personal contact and mutual relationship are contingent upon each of us dying to ourselves and living solely for Him. And when we are enabled to abide in Him and He in us, we can ask whatever we desire, and it will be granted. When our hearts reflect the heart of Christ, our choices will reflect the Will of God, and our prayers will pray into the issues closest to the heart of the Lord Himself, to His praise and glory.
Andrew Murray said, “Prayer is not monologue but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.” As you ponder those statements, think about how well you listen in prayer. Take steps this week to listen more than you speak in prayer.
Holy God, I am grateful for the gift of salvation through faith in Christ. However, I recognize that for my prayers to be heard with sincerity and faith, my mind, heart, and will must be in harmony with Yours, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit. As I seek to align my requests with Yours, I pray that Your Will be done rather than mine. In Jesus’ name.
Upcoming Connect 21 Events
- Saturday Morning Prayer (Jan 28th @ 9 am at Latimer Hall – The Way UMC)
- Sunday Morning Worship ( Jan 29th @ 10 am at River Ridge High School)