True Vine

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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 15:1-5

Here it is folks, my third and final part on the topic, Abiding. Click here for part 1 and then you need to click here for part 2. Now hopefully you are caught up, so let’s land this plane.

Abide in the Holy Spirit.

We must not suppose that the measure of our understanding or experience is the measure of the Spirit’s working — John Murray

All my friends are gone it feels like. Some team members feel anxious and worrisome prior to ALL our college friends spending the 2 months with us laboring. I feel they suffer thoughts like: “Will they even like me? How can I manage all their junk and point them to maturity when I ain’t mature in Christ? That one year that girl was so difficult, last year was a fluke, but this year watch I’ll have a difficult kid again.” If you reading this and came to work with us or thinking about it know what I say they “suffer” ain’t true. These are my hypothetical thoughts as another team member, and this doesn’t reflect in no way their thoughts. TBH, the second question on maturity has been a thought that definitely plagued me twice the last two Mays. 

As a worker regardless it is in the spiritual or secular sense one possess this internal strive of self-achievement, well hopefully you do in your workI could even argue that “dead end” job as you labeling it really has your soul tied to it since, honestly bruh, you still clocking in and out. Fruit, one strives for: money to pay tuition, bills, give back to parents, etc… If that ain’t your fruit you aiming for, I gotchu. You want the job that gives self worth. You want to make a difference in this life, so that generations can look back and say we needed [blanks] contribution. My favorite fruit I long for back in the day, still in these days, was happiness. I mean life owes us right. You put your time in. You begrudged the years of training, academia, numerous nights of drunkness and hookups; why not slide into the grave with the middle finger up to all who stand in your way? really bruh? that ain’t happiness. That’s selfishness.

“As you do not know the way of the Spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” —Ecclesiastes 11:5-6

Murray points us to something unique and a flaw in our current generation: We want to see fruit so badly that if we can’t see it instantaneous then we strive harder to obtain our desirous fruit. Now some beseech a higher being to explain our circumstances while others choose denial and focus on the now. In what way does our mind have all the answers to life’s questions? What’s unique is every single human is wired to have faith. Now my faith rest on I am (Exodus 3:14-15), The LORD. The God of Abraham and Jacob and Issac. The God in that book you used as a pillow or arm rest while you and the homies endured homilies about Him during high school whether at Mass Friday mornings or heaven forbid your family forced you to church on Sundays. I poke fun at my Catholic upbringing friends, because let’s face it the extent of theirs, mine, or your understanding of the Creator of the Universe could be: He was boring, required sacrifice, and apparently didn’t know about fun times because if he wanted more people he wouldn’t require attendance Sunday mornings while I was trying to survive my hangover.

We need to give ear to this truth: YOU DON’T HAVE LIFE FIGURED OUT, and the purpose of your life is to worship God! If you choose not to worship God, congratulations something in your life already has your worship. People you are taking a gamble with hell and heaven. I got the enjoyment to swap testimonies with a fellow restless wayward brother on this side of the pond the other day. What we concluded:

  1. God is gracious to spare our stupid dumb lives. On multiple occasions!!
  2. He is so merciful and loving how can I go back to that old life.
  3. The peace and trajectory into the image of Christ that He has called is the peace we longed for that the high, girls, alcohol, peers, jobs, sports, and/or life itself NEVER satisfies. It’s fun, temporarily of course. Then you need more. What used to satisfy no longer is enough.

God alone is the place of peace that can not be disturbed, and He will not withhold Himself from your love unless you withhold your love from Him. — Augustine

In closing, you could be wondering “abide in Holy Spirit”? This dude don’t even mention him!! How you think you can even approach, submit, and then follow on your own strength? God breathed in man, a lifeless molded piece of dirt (Genesis 2:7) His breath is what speaks to your soul when you see a sunset. If you been blessed to witness the grand canyon, the mere majestic and “awe” feeling that hit ya and tugged at your conscious alluding to their might be more to this life beyond your understanding that was the Spirit of God. The fruit you so long to produce and know it pleases compared to the muck and sour worms you dealing with THAT is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. To think your own heart is capable of producing sound doctrine leading you to take a leap of faith on something other than God apart from the Word of God, amounts to nothing my fam.

When we realize a constant enemy of the soul abides within us, what diligence and watchfulness we should have! How woeful is the sloth and negligence then of so many who live blind and asleep to this reality of sin. There is an exceeding efficacy and power in the indwelling sin of believers, for it constantly inclines itself towards evil. We need to be awake, then, if our hearts would know the ways of God. Our enemy is not only upon us, as it was with Samson, but it is also in us. — John Owen



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