These last few weeks the Lord has had me camped out in the Gospel of John teaching me more about what it is to be one with Him. You know how you can read a passage many times over but, on a given day, only by revelation of His Spirit, that same passage comes to life in a deeper way. That’s what has happened to me lately with the Gospel of John. I’m not even sure if I can well articulate the picture that has been deposited deep within my soul but I will attempt it. Last week I delivered a message on “Tarrying”. This message is an extension of that one. Fruitfulness always comes out of intimacy or oneness with another. Just as the marriage union is a physical picture of intimacy, so are we to be united with Christ and one with Him in order to be spiritually fruitful for God’s Kingdom. Our fruitfulness which comes from that intimacy with Christ is very important to God.
John 15:8 NASB says:
8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Jesus emphasizes how important bearing fruit is in John 15:1-2, 6 NASB.
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
The secret to our fruitfulness is revealed in John 15:4-5 NASB.
4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
We must remain one with Jesus. Jesus, our perfect example, explains how critical it was for Him to be one with His Father.
30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 NASB
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. John 14:10 NASB
Jesus also explains that He only does what He sees the Father do.
30 “I can do nothing on My own. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. John 5:30 NASB
If Jesus had to be one with His Father to be fruitful, how much more do we need to be united with Him in spirit, purpose and action in order to bear good fruit. The question remains how do we achieve that oneness. If you read through the gospels, repeatedly, the scriptures tell us that Jesus withdrew to a secluded place to pray and to commune with His Father. This is where “Tarrying” comes in. How can we know God’s plan if we don’t spend time in prayer seeking out His will for our day, life, situation or ministry? Jesus devoted an abundance of His time waiting on His Father for revelation and instruction. There are several times where He prayed through the night for His Father’s counsel, will and plan. In the natural, relationships are built spending quality time with others. Our relationship with God is no different. The time we spend to KNOW the Lord, His ways, His will, His plans, and His purposes is VERY important. Our lives should be centered on relationship and intimacy with Him. Good fruit will then come naturally.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:18-23 NASB
Our relationship with God begins through our faith in Jesus Christ and the blood He so generously shed to obliterate our sin. But it doesn’t stop there. To know Him and His ways, takes time and effort on our part. To know Jesus, is to love Him. Love makes obedience easy. The more you love Him, the more you WANT to please Him. Obedience, then, becomes a privilege.
9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:9-11 NASB
When we stay in Jesus’ love through obedience, it opens the door for us to be privy to God’s secrets. We are then considered friends of God that can be trusted with Kingdom secrets. We lay down our own will and life to take up His.
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:12-17 NASB
As we wait on the Lord, He delights to share His plans and purposes with us. Then we can partner with Him in supernatural signs in wonders to manifest His love and glory on the earth. King David said this:
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Psalms 63:1-2 NKJV
God wants to partner with us to spread His love and glory on the earth. What a privilege He has bestowed upon us to be chosen to carry His glory and presence on the earth! First, however, we must seek Him to get His plan and to show Him, through our obedience, that we desire God’s glory and not our own. Jesus mentioned this in John 7:18 NASB.
18 The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:18 NASB
How many times have we run out the door without consulting God about His agenda for our day? On those days, are we guilty of writing our own epistle instead of the being the living epistle that God intended for us to be before the world?I truly believe that, as we submit ourselves wholly to the Lord and spend time to know His ways and His will and to walk in them, we will move into the miraculous realm of Heaven and be the vessels through which Heaven manifests its glory on the earth.
While writing this message the Spirit brought to my remembrance a beautiful wedding song I sang once upon a time. I’ve included a link to a version of the song for your convenience. As you listen to it, close your eyes and imagine Jesus singing this beautiful love song to you as an invitation to partner with Him to spread His love, His will and His glory throughout the earth.