Updated: Nov 17, 2021
“I am the sprouting vine and you are my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you--but when you live separated from me, you are powerless.” John 15:5 (TPT)
So often, in our American culture, we are valued by what we can produce. We call it success, money, power, etc., but the point is that we are supposed to work, even strive, in order to produce. We are to work in order to have value. The idea of production is not a bad thing, and neither is working. It’s very Biblical, actually. The problem comes in when we attempt to produce without connection to our source. The problem comes in when we strive instead of abide.
We have to understand that as children of God, we are not machines. God has invited us in John 15 to abide in HIM. We are not to exhaustively produce products for a manipulative leader of whom we claim to be followers. That’s not Who He is. But that’s often how we live. We live as if He demands products from us. Because the demands of life push on us so intensely, we often confuse those demands as godly. So we measure our lives in miles per hour and quantitative data we can track easily on paper. But what if that’s not the goal or the prize? In John 15, we see that fruit comes from connection. Fruit comes from our abiding in Him. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Fruit comes from rest.
When studying the life of Jesus, we can see that He didn’t set an example of a life of striving or of speed. He did what He saw the Father doing. Colossians tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. We see that Jesus slowed His life down enough to prioritize time spent with the Father. That’s the example of our Savior. We would do well to follow in this beautiful example. The goal of our life is the fruit we produce when we spend our time in intimate closeness with Him. Our Savior is actually just begging to be known by us. After all, the first and greatest commandment is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). We have often had the wrong measurements of success so we avoid His beckonings.
We are all called to produce fruit. I would argue that when we are connected to Him, fruit is the natural overflow. When we abide, fruit naturally produces itself. When we stay connected, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are a natural result. When we live in intimate closeness with Jesus, our husbands, children, friends, family, coworkers, etc. all benefit from the union we have with our Savior and friend.
We must drop the external pressures of the world and surrender the internal pressures that we come up with all on our own . They have no eternal benefits. We must remember that we are not machines. We are children of God.
Written By: Lera Ricciuti