Recently I was feeling pretty parched. Dry. Empty. And not in a physicality sense, but a spiritual sense. I was running on all four cylinders in all four directions. I had not taken the time to sit and commune with God. It made me think of a verse my sweet mentor, Regina, had me memorize many moons ago:
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
Remaining in him requires me to actually be on his vine. I can’t expect to feel hydrated without spending time with him – without investing in my relationship with him. I can’t be filled up if I’m not even on a branch. I desire to be so overflowing with Him that I become a delicious product of His vineyard. That I could be the wine that comes from his harvest. I desire that when the fruit of my life is squeezed, abundance flows from it. I don’t want my fruit to be the shriveled, dried up and dead pieces. The ones that look so gross you don’t even want to touch them. (Those lead to produce a different kind of ‘whine’). I want to be the big, ripe, juicy pieces of fruit that are attractive and useful.
I say all this and still have to admit that it’s a struggle. Remaining on the vine is not easy. John also refers to the pruning process in chapter 15. Cutting back and cleaning is never comfortable, but it always produces richer and more excellent fruit. I’ll say this – whenever I have remained in him; I have never wished I hadn’t.
Here are my questions to you (and to me): How is your fruit? What type of wine would your fruit produce? What do you need to start doing (or quit doing) to remain in him?