God will entrust much in prayer to those whose minds are being renewed through His Word, for they pray according to His will. Have you learned to live by God’s Word and prayer? “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (v. 7)
The abiding life is the true Christian life. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
John 15 gives us the pattern for spiritual growth and effectiveness as believers. In the passage, we are called branches, Christ is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser. What are the characteristics of authentic branches?
- They bear the fruit of Christ’s character and power. Fruit is the life of Christ through the believer. It is excess life. The life of the Christian is to be one of daily dependence on Christ, rather than himself. Do people see Christ in you?
- Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away.. .Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. (vv.2a,4-5)
- They are pruned by God. God cuts off the diseased and the nonessential aspects of the believer’s life. It is up to the vinedresser to determine what is and is not useful. Pruning is painful but necessary. Is this your experience?
- Every branch that bears fruit, He primes it, that it may bear more fruit. (v. 2b)