Spirit Discipline: Bearing Fruit

JOHN 15:5–8

What does it mean to remain in the vine? According to Jesus, it means to cling to him all the time. It means to continue to be with him in the way that he is with us. That is all there is to it.

Easy, right? Wrong! We humans, fallen as we are, have an allergic reaction to God. Adam and Eve were found hiding in the bushes after they sinned. Since then, our entire race keeps heading back to those bushes whenever we think God might be around. Those of us who have been called by God out of the bushes and into a personal relationship still have that desire within us. Only now it is in tension with the desire of our regenerated hearts to rush into his arms and greet him with joy.

We see this tension illustrated in the nation of Israel. Called into a special relationship with God, generation after generation yielded to the temptation of idolatry and the worship of the Baals. They wanted to be religious, but they just didn’t want to stay in the faith of the living God. They couldn’t remain with him.

Today, most of us aren’t enticed by the Baals, but we too look around for other things to trust in: money, status, power, possession, self, others … Jesus knows the temptation of our hearts. His remedy is stunningly simple yet extremely difficult to do—“Remain in me.”

DISCIPLINE

Open the door of your heart and see if there are any idols that you secretly trust in. One by one either smash them or just hand them over to the Lord. Make a note here of each one you renounce. After you have done that, invite Jesus to be the only Lord of your heart and sit quietly in his presence.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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