“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away…” John 15:2
I sat down intending to write about the second part of this verse (the part about pruning), but as I wrote I found the Holy Spirit leading me in a different direction. It seems there were other tasty morsels to enjoy in this first part of the verse. This post gives more context to the post, Labor of Love 2. I share with you what He shared with me and I hope it blesses you as well…
We last left off talking about what DADDY God does to remedy believers (branches) who haven’t born fruit. He lifts us up and rests us on Jesus’s finished work on the cross. A reminder if you will of the fact that Jesus exchanged our sin nature for His glory. We are new creations in Christ Jesus and He gave us His Spirit to bring out the glory placed in us. That’s the fruit; the fruit of the Spirit, Jesus’ Spirit.
Fruit, if you think about it generally, is the evidence of the tree it’s on. Just as apples on a tree let you know that’s an apple tree, grapes on a vine let you know it’s a grapevine. More than identification, fruit also indicates vitality of the tree/plant. Why isn’t there fruit? Is the root system weak? Is there disease in the trunk? Is the sap not reaching the branches?
Now we know there is nothing wrong with Jesus, the true vine and because His blood has washed us, we know there is nothing wrong with a believer. So what’s the deal? What could keep a believer from showing the evidence of their connection to the True Vine? The wrong focus; focus on ourselves, our efforts, and our shortcomings. The great Apostle Paul said, in effect, the life I know live, I live by faith in the Son of God (see Galatians 2:20).
Paul is talking about Vine Life here. In Christ, you let Him live in and through you. Just like the tree sap flows from the trunk into the branches and the fruit naturally appears, when we stop striving to become, and we focus on getting to know the tree we’ve been grafted into, His supernatural life flows through us. That’s when we begin to think, say and do things reminiscent of our Lord Jesus. It doesn’t happen by effort; it happens by faith. It doesn’t happen by looking to ourselves and studying our process, it happens by knowing Who lives in you and trusting in His faithfulness.