The vine produces what the branch bears
The branch bears fruit produced by the vine, that’s how our vine life in Christ should be. We all know a branch cannot survive when it not connected to the source, the vine, instead it would wither up and die. Can a branch produce its own fruit without the vine? The thing is, it does not need to because that is what the vine is there to do, to provide the life. We know that people in the world produce results every day and have success but what is the source of their success? Or who is the source of their success? And more importantly, as a child of God who is your source, who provides the supply that you need?
The Lord Jesus Christ said that He is the vine and we are the branches, and without Him, we cannot bear any fruit. I have heard people say that I have to do something or nothing happens, I have to hustle to live a productive successful life, that God helps those who help themselves. That is the rule of life for the world, especially right now where we have the glorification of the hustling life and the rat race. People are working very hard to achieve their goals and they are striving, sacrificing a lot along the way to achieve the level of success that they want. But is that the way that a Christian should live their life?
Please note that I am not, as Pastor Prince always says, advocating for a life of laziness, I have been there and done that and its not that fun. Work is not something that’s bad by any means and the bible does warn against a life of laziness and shares the wisdom in getting up and working. I am reminded of something that Pastor Prince said where he pointed out that even in Genesis, before the fall, Adam was given a job to do by God. So work is not something that came with the curse. Do you know what did though? Striving in our jobs or whatever work we have to do. The curse brought toil, sweat, and pain which were added onto the things that already existed that God had planned for man.
So what are we supposed to do then? How are we supposed to live life and be a success without hustling and joining the rat race? Is working hard a bad thing? And I can already feel people that people are not going to be happy with this one because, for a lot of people, this is our life. We are striving and hustling to get somewhere, or maybe not even to have some crazy awesome success but simply to survive. And I need to make it clear that working hard is not a bad thing, in fact, it should be something we all should do. When we look at His life we see that Jesus was not lazy, He was a very busy man going about doing His work. However, nowhere do we read that he was striving at doing something or struggled to accomplish something.
And the word says, as He is so are we, so how should we be living our lives? The Lord Jesus also said that without me you can do nothing and there are some people who can argue that they have accomplished a lot without Him and in the physical this is true. There are lots of people in the world achieving many things and accomplishing whatever they would have set their minds to doing; so you might say you don’t need Him and this is only for some of us who produce nothing on our own. Pastor Prince always explains this by pointing that we cannot produce anything of eternal value on our own and that the riches of this world can be here today and gone tomorrow. But more than that, what he said that changed my life was that Jesus gives success without strive, the bible says God gives success and He adds no sorrow to it.
This is something that is truly important, how much do you have to give up as you struggle to be a success on your own? Will the source of your success be sacrifice, or will it be Jesus Christ? There are many people who have had to give up time with their children to be a success financially or have given up financial freedom for their families. While the word does say you might have to give up some things for ministry, it does not say the same for success, whatever success means to you. So maybe if we did it His way and allowed Him to guide us and provide for us we wouldn’t have to give up so much after all?
For me the battle was actually with the producing part; I realize I spent a lot of time talking about those who are producing and asking what their source is, but of those of us struggling with producing anything, to begin with…I ask the same question, where is your source? I can be honest to say that I struggle because I look at myself as the source a lot, I think I have to do this and get that done, and I just get overwhelmed. I think of all I need to accomplish what I want to do and I get overwhelmed and more often than not, I produce nothing at the end of the day. Because I am looking at myself as the source I get stressed out, fearful and anxious, weighed down by the reality that I cannot. This where that right believing comes in again – I am believing I am the source and so I end up in this seemingly never-ending cycle of defeat and failure.
We all know that Jesus Christ is not fearful, He is not anxious nor is He depressed. So if I am a branch, I survive from the life-sap of the vine, while I may bear the fruit, it is created in the vine and produced in the vine-life. As I spend time in that word and realize who I am in Christ, it will lead to right believing as my mind is cleansed from the wrong beliefs. Right believing will lead to right living as the revelation of my nature in Christ takes root. What would I have to be fearful about, or anxious about or even depressed about when I know and believe that it is not me who is in control and it does not all depend on me but on Christ. He provides whatever it is I need to bear fruit.
In Philippians 2 verse 13, the bible says that it is the Lord who works in us the willingness and the ability to do for His good pleasure and so we are supposed to continue to work out our salvation in Him. And before you say well who says being successful is to His good pleasure, I would refer us to John 15 verse 8 where the Lord Jesus Christ says that it is to His Father’s glory that we bear much fruit, showing ourselves to be His disciples, and in verse 16 He says He chose us that we might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. We find in 2 Thessalonians 1 verse 2, Paul prays that God would make the church worthy of His calling and bring to fruition their every desire for goodness, and every work of faith, that glory might be given to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
So all this is to say we really need to consider our source, and as children of our Daddy God, our source is the Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says that of the Father, we are in Christ Jesus who is our wisdom from God, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. So the wisdom we need to be a success and to accomplish what we want to do is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the vine and we are the branch, as He is so are in this world, so all that wisdom that Christ has is ours in Him.
Imagine what amazing things we can accomplish as long as we stay connected and believe that He is our source…