Experiencing Miraculous Supernatural Growth
The Vineyard In The Yard
Excerpt From Rock-Solid Living In A Quicksand World
I am the vine you are the branches. If you abide in Me, and I abide in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing.
As we Begin our Journey backward through the Sermon on the Mount, and before we go out to the yard to walk on the stepping-stones, we need to go to another piece of property—the vineyard of Jesus’s parabolic house that he mentions in Matthew 7. Jesus says something interesting about Himself. He calls Himself “the vine.” He also calls us something. He calls us “the branches”; therefore, there is a life connection between the Son of God and us. Maintaining that connection intentionally is important if we desire to bear fruit.
Caution: One of the dangers of following a teaching is the possibility of the teaching becoming legalistic or regulatory. Jesus had a whole lot of problems with the Pharisees and others who were rule makers. This was because the rules had become outrageous. People tried to keep all the rules the religious leaders imposed on them, but they found themselves experiencing toxic guilt and shame because they simply could not keep them. In the same way, I think that a lot of people give up on even trying to look at the Sermon on the Mount as anything but an ideal. They do this, I believe, because they have tried to follow these teachings in their own power. If the Sermon on the Mount is viewed as only an ideal, then it’s nice to know but not something we can really do.
However, something supernatural (that happens everyday in nature) can occur in us, regarding Jesus’s teachings, when we apply the principle of being a part of His vineyard. Although the teaching is important and guidelines can help us often, these things do not give us the power to produce. This is especially true of spiritual fruit. Many people take teachings and rules and really work hard at obeying them, but they find they cannot. It is like the law under the Old Covenant. The rules were made, but people could not keep them. Once we know Jesus as our Savior and have His Holy Spirit within us (under the New Covenant), we receive the power to live. And this power to live comes from our relationship with Christ and His Holy Spirit. We are in Him, and He is in us. The ability to produce fruit relies on the relationship and not on religiosity. The power to produce fruit comes from the ability of the branches to stay connected to the vine. Over time, the life-giving vine causes the branches to mature. They may produce little green buds. Then they may yield little flowers. Then they begin to bear fruit. All the while, the branch is simply in an abiding relationship with the vine. Before you know it, grapes are everywhere.
Let’s use an apple seed as an example of how this could work: The seed is placed in the ground. The seed dies to itself while it is resting in the earth. Before you know it, new life emerges. The sapling continues to grow until it eventually becomes a tree. In time, the tree blossoms, and it produces little green fruit and, eventually, hundreds and thousands of apples over its life span. There is no rule keeping here. There is no fretting here. The apple seed is simply being. It is not fretting or working or doing anything. It is dying to itself and living to its Creator. It’s yielding itself to Him who resurrected it to a life of fruitfulness. The tree, meanwhile, is fruitful because it stays rooted and still.
Consider the farmer. When the farmer plants the field, he or she plows it and gets it ready. He or she places the seeds in the ground, and then goes about business as usual, while the seeds rest in their Creator. The farmer may even talk about the various crops that are growing, even though no one can actually see them in the field. He or she knows that the crops are coming, because he or she planted the seeds; however, just at the right time and in the right season, the seeds die, and by the Creator’s design are resurrected into a harvest of blossoms and growth, providing all that was expected. The growth relies only on the seeds being entrusted to the Creator so that they can grow…without worrying about doing.
To Be Continued …
Keep Yourself On The Rock & Stand Up To Any Storm.
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