THE OPERATIVE WORD IS – “IF” …


John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  NASB

In His discourse about us being the vine and the Father the vinedresser, Jesus informed those hearing that He expected His followers to “bear fruit.” He also warned that if there was no “fruit-bearing” that branch would be taken away.  Is that austere only if you are disobedient or rebellious.  If you make Matthew 6:33 your aim, this is a good word. 

He talked about the cleansing of the vine by pruning.  That sounds painful and might require some uncomfortable introspection and self-examination or examination by the Holy Spirit.  He told those listening that they were clean already because of His Word.  That is interesting and powerful.  The Words of Jesus prune us or makes us complete and enable us to bear fruit!  He identified that there could be no fruit except that which is produced from the life of the Vine.  Therefore, since we are branches and He is the vine our fruit is the result of the life that exudes from the vine. 

In verse seven, He makes a statement that far too often is taken as a stand-alone passage but must be viewed in the context of the whole – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask WHATEVER you wish, and it will be done for you.”  (Emphasis mine).

This door to the miraculous is conditioned not only upon the context of the whole but hinges on the small word ‘IF.’  The two facets of the “if” are – Abiding in Him, and His words abiding in us.  With the understanding and image that we draw life from the Vine and thereby produce fruit, Jesus identified that we are recipients of His Divine Life.  He makes it clear that as Living Branches, we produce fruit because we are Abiding in Him and His Words are Abiding in us!  That is the flow to us and from us. We receive of His life and as a result of that reception we produce fruit which produces seed which produces more fruit, and the cycle is endless.  In that context, we can “Ask what we wish and receive answers to our prayers.”

Unfortunately, it would seem that too often we either are not abiding in Him, and His words are not abiding in us to the level that He is our ALL-IN-ALL!  Too often we live in a relatively casual relationship rather than a totally committed life in which we “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.”  

It is in the condition of living casually that too often we develop a mindset where we do not expect to receive whatever we pray for.  We do not expect it to come to pass.  It is deeply saddening that by not abiding in Him and His words in us, we allow a condition of heart to develop that is not conducive to the reception of His faith and the reception of His Promises. 

On the other hand, if we are abiding in Him and His words are abiding in us, His life will nudge, prod, and encourage us to rise to the level of life where we live in expectancy! We will manifest the fulfillment of His promise that “the Works that He did we will do and greater works because He has gone to the Father.”  We will exhibit in this life the life of Jesus and through the fruit of that relationship, others will be positively impacted for the Kingdom. 

The operative word is “IF.”  If we abide in Him.  If His words abide in us.  IF is the condition and the conduit through which that life brings the faith for the miraculous.  Lord help me to change the “IF” to“I DO.” 

May God be with you as you go through your day!

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