Where Do You Live?

When you are looking for somewhere to live you often have some sort of criteria. Maybe location is important to you. Is it close to transport, schools or colleges, the bush or ocean, shops etc? It maybe the material that it is built from. Straw, sticks or wood!!!!!

3pigs
Sorry!!Couldn’t resist!!

The type of house. One storey (or story if you are from the USA) or two or more, flat or town house etc. Maybe it’s what is inside the house. How many rooms, bathrooms, living rooms, how big the kitchen is etc. I think you get the picture. The next step is a visit to the Estate Agent. You have been saving for years and you give him your list of requirements. He looks at you earnestly for a while then he says those amazing words…”How much money do you have?” You tell him excitedly and then you see the earnestness disappear in his face only  to be replaced by sadness and disappointment as he sees his commission becoming smaller. You then have to start to cut back on what you really want. You may end up living in a three person tent but “Ho!Hum!” It’s all you can afford. d9fb648108b638e2349ca01fe5677ac1Then the estate agent says hang on a minute what about the mortgage? You are shocked! “What is this mortgage that you speak of?” (I am not sure why Yoda has arrived but just go with it….!) He explains the wonders of the mortgage. You understand that you go into debt and that the bank will hold the deeds of the house until you have paid them back. You say thank you bank for getting us out of trouble. Thank you that we can have a bigger and better house. Thank you that our lives will be much easier now. We will keep paying you back for all you have given us.

 

There is a point to all this. I am not a Real Estate agent in disguise and I don’t work for a bank so don’t worry. My point is simple, we as Christians have a choice as to where we live . We can choose to live in a tent. Using our own means to get through life.Of course we soon find out that there is no life living in a tent but that’s all we have so we will make do. We know Jesus died on a cross for us but we don’t know Him! Going to church, singing hymns, praying (but not knowing who we are praying to), hearing the bible stories read to us. We might even go to church at Easter and Christmas as a bonus but there is no life to it because we don’t know that there is someone outside ourselves to help us. This is called in the Bible living in the realm of the Flesh. Doing everything in our own strength. Satan loves this because he doesn’t have to do anything. He just sits back and laughs because those people do his job for him.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires;” (Romans 8:5)

Then we come to the next group of Christians. The enemy spends a lot of time with these people. These are the Christians who know Jesus died for them and have heard that there is someone who can show us who Jesus really is. The Holy Spirit. Jesus had to die not only as a sacrifice for our sin but also so that the Holy Spirit can come and live inside us. Joined as one to our spirits.

“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

An advocate is a champion, upholder, supporter, backer, protector. So the second group have realised that the Holy Spirit is there to help. He has given them Gifts to use for God in their lives.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1Corinthians 12:7-11)

He enables God’s fruit to grow in their lives,

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.(Galatians 5:22-23)

These Christians have learnt that without the Holy Spirit they are powerless. They are forever thanking God for His gift. They thank God for Jesus. They know why the Holy Spirit came and for what. They are living now in the comfort of their home enjoying the full amenities that they have been given. They are always aware of the debt that is owed. Life for Life. They see miracles happening, not Jesus miracles but still miracles. They are seeing God work. Not a huge amount but enough. They have seen the Holy Spirit work. The worship is amazing, there is such anointing. They feel heaven falling down on them.  The prayer is often fall on us Holy Spirit. They ask for the Holy Spirit to bring the Kingdom of God down on them. The devil works incredibly hard on these Christians, messing with their minds. “Am I doing enough to pay back the price? What’s my gift? Why do I sin still? Why can’t I see the fruit  in my life?” These Christians have learnt the power in the word of God. If they are sick they are professing

“and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

often with little result but sometimes there is healing. These people are living in the realm of the…….Soul. They are ‘Soulish Christians’ (Watchman Nee – Spiritual Man)

You see there is another group of people. These went to the Estate Agent with absolutely nothing but they read the small print. They realised that they could have any house they wanted, in any location. As big as they wanted. What’s more they actually didn’t have to pay for it all. It was all paid for. Signed, sealed and delivered! Whatever they wanted was available to them at any time. If they wanted something new in the house they could have it. All they had to do was sit in it. They didn’t have to do anything. It was theirs for the taking. No solicitors fees! No cost at all. If anything breaks, it will be fixed at no cost. All that was needed for their lives was theirs for the asking.

Who doesn’t want this life? Well obviously the first two groups of people don’t. Chris Blackeby, a full time Australian Itinerant Pastor, who has travelled the world preaching, calls the first two life styles “Living with the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. Do you remember that tree. It is the one that Adam ate from. The tree that showed him his nakedness. Before he ate the fruit he didn’t know he was naked and had no shame. But then he was given the knowledge of shame.S o many of us live by knowledge. We know so much Scripture. We can tell you chapter and verse. We know how a church should be run. We know what works because we have seen it work in the past, so it is bound to keep working in the future. Is it? Remember that God’s blessings don’t just fall on the people who belong to Jesus.

“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matt 5:45)

Good things still will happen to people who are not in the fullness of all God wants. We need to be where God wants us. It is not about formulas or what your church wants. We are seeking knowledge of what is good. We don’t need knowledge we need Life. We need to be living with the Tree of Life. That was the other tree. Satan didn’t tempt Adam with that tree because the Tree of Life doesn’t bring sin and shame.We live by the “A little learning is a dangerous thing;”Rule! By the way that quote comes from An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope, written in 1709. (Just in case you were seeking more knowledge!!)saber We realise that knowing little is dangerous, so we learn more. We look deeper to see what each nuance means. As far as I can see the Apostles were just ordinary men who were living in the power of the Holy Spirit. They ‘knew’ all about Jesus. They ‘knew’ that He died on the cross. They ‘knew’ that He had risen from the dead. They had seen Him. They had talked to Him. He taught them about the Scriptures and everything in them that related to Him.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.(Luke 24:44-45)

They could have gone out at any time as they had the knowledge of who Jesus was. Yet they still were told to go and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. The Tree of Life! We can quote scripture until we are blue in the face but until the Holy Spirit brings Life to it for us individually we will see nothing happen.

As followers of Jesus we need to understand where our house is.

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)

So we are waiting for that place that Jesus has prepared for us. When we die we have the hope of the prepared place. If only we got hold of the truth and saw that we are living in Heaven ! That is where we live NOW. We are Spiritual beings having an earthly experience.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9 NASB)

We don’t wait to die to go to Heaven, Heaven is our home now. We live in Christ and He in us.

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Saviour], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. (2 Corinthians 5:17 Amp)

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(2 Corinthians 5:21)

 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20)

and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.(Colossians 2:10)

 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.(Colossians 3:3)

Where is Jesus? Sitting, on the throne next to His Father. So where are we? Sitting on the throne next to our Father. Where is the throne room? Heaven! So we are in Heaven now. We are sitting. We are at rest! Sitting next to God.

“even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:5-7 NASB)

It is nothing we have done but it is what God has done for us to show how incredible His Grace is to us. “That’s too simple”, I hear you say. Following Jesus is simple. It has to be. Not everyone has a person available to them to explain the doctrinal implications on things. No one has come to Jesus having to know the Doctrinal implication of anything. If you look at the different cultures that the Gospel has to go to, and is relevant to, then you see why it has to be simple. Someone living in the Amazon Rainforest does not have to know the implications of predestination and they never will. Or what about someone who is intellectually impaired.  All we need to know is that Jesus died for us, rose again from the dead and through His blood we now live with Him in the Heavenly Realms with the Archangels, Angels and other Spiritual beings by the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything in Heaven is available to us now. I mentioned in a previous post that God gave me a picture of a shop front which was covered in posters as if there was a sale on. Each poster had ‘Available in Store Now!’ on it. So I went in and the shop was full of everything you could think of but they all had my name on it and God said “Come and get what ever you need at any time” So I do. Sometimes I have to put the item on and sometimes I just use it. Once it’s mine it’s mine. I don’t need to go and get it again.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:3)

We now live next to the Tree of Life. When we live like this our whole perception changes. We no longer pray that Heaven comes down because we live in Heavenly Realms so we bring people up to where we are. When we are asking for the anointing of God to fall, we bring it with us. We are in Jesus in Heavenly Places so we bring Jesus and Heaven to people. I do believe this is the Year of God’s favour. It is a time of new things. It is the time for the Next!! Not the same as before, next  but in a totally different format, next. It is a new Next! The Tree of Life Next! A time of TURNAROUND!

Prayer starter: Dear Father let me see today who I am in Jesus. Let me see what you have done for me. Let me be at rest in Jesus. I am sorry that I have tried to do things in my own strength Holy Spirit make my place in Jesus real to me.

 

If you have time please listen to Chris Blackeby’s testimony it is well worth it. Also have a look at Living from Heaven | 14th August 2016 | Chris Blackeby | WOWLife Church on YouTube.

 

 

Wait!!

I do wonder how many of us actually enjoy waiting for something? It doesn’t seem to be part of our make up does it? You go to the local supermarket and you hear a parent say to their child who is trying to open a chocolate bar , ‘You can’t open that yet as we have to wait until we pay for it!” Then the child sits back in the trolley and waits patiently for the checkout. NOT!!! There is suddenly an explosion of noise in aisle 3!! You then see an employee scanning an empty chocolate wrapper at the checkout, with an apologetic Mum looking at her child’s chocolate covered face.’I want it now, and if not now then sooner!’ Yet, the bible is full of passages where we are told to wait, be patient, hope, have faith, trust, etc., etc.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)

When I hear the word wait I shudder. I want God to use me…. now. I want to see people released from bondage…. now. People healed. People saved. I get so frustrated. Surely God you want me out there doing, what about the great commission?

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)

I want to make disciples of the nations…..now, I want to preach….now, I want to lead…..now. But the doors don’t open. The doors are clear but they don’t move, no matter how hard I push at them. So what is it you want me to do God? “Wait” I want to serve you! “Wait” Why aren’t people healed when I pray? “Wait” What about  victory in my life?“Wait” Why can’t I get free from sin? “Wait” What was that? “Wait” Sorry, did you say wait? “Wait” Wait! Really? But there is no time, it is urgent? “Wait. Time belongs to me. I am time. I stop time. My timing is perfect”

It has taken a while but at last I am beginning to see it. I am to wait!!!! I  realise now why I need wait and why it is so important.

waiting

To start with I needed to see that there are different kinds of waiting and they are not all bad. First we have the “Wait until your father gets home, he will deal with you!” That’s a horrible ‘wait’. Then we have the boring wait. Just hanging around with nothing to do. Then there is the waiting for the bus to work wait. That’s the one where you are waiting for something to turn up, that will move  you onto something unpleasant. e.g., the dentist waiting room!!! Then we have the best wait….. the child’s Christmas Eve wait. This is full of excited anticipation, wonderment, awe, expectancy!!!!

I say that the word wait causes me to shudder but I still love that expectant wait. Let me give you an example. I love going to the theatre, especially to see musicals. Even though I have purchased my ticket long before and it has my seat number on it, I still have to get to the theatre early. It has nothing to do with making sure I don’t miss the start but because I enjoy the wait! I love the anticipation. Watching the people, feeling their expectancy. I love experiencing the amazing atmosphere of the place. Buying my program. Not looking at it because I don’t want to ruin any surprises!! I know that part is just plain weird so let’s move on quickly. I will go into the auditorium to see the orchestra getting ready, tuning up. Then minutes before the show starts I will take my seat and I am ready to enjoy the show fully. Without the preparation I would not be ready to enjoy the show at its best. Are you seeing the importance of waiting? (By the way that  is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, otherwise known as a…. parable. Not a good one, I admit, but a parable none the less.) The waiting with expectancy is the Godly wait. Let’s look at God’s wait in more detail.

When God asks us to wait on Him it has to be for a reason. It is not a pointless exercise. The reason is always to bring more glory to Jesus. This is our purpose here. We bring glory to the Son. In the process we receive blessing after blessing. You see we cannot do anything without God. Jesus only did what he saw His Father doing.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:9)

Therefore we need to wait and see what the Father is doing. When you wait on God you are not just sitting around in a meditative state,  emptying your mind and humming. You are waiting expectantly! When I go early to the theatre I don’t just go into the foyer and wait. I am watching, listening, smelling, touching and tasting (especially if I have bought an ice-cream!! I am present, aware, in the moment. It is not about past shows or even the show itself it is about the moment. Our wait on God is not about what has happened in the past or what will be in our future but the moment. Moment by moment with God. We can’t change the past and we don’t know what the future holds but we can wait on God expectantly in the moment.

Waiting on God is about faith and trust. We know that we can manipulate events to make things happen. My mother was a master manipulator. She was the Stephen Hawkins of manipulation and she taught me well. It is a horrible, nasty personality trait. Instead of trust or faith it brings the opposite and the results don’t last. It doesn’t last because its foundation is deceit which is the opposite of God, He is light with no darkness. When we let go and wait, we are in total reliance on Him. This is how God wants us to be.

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” (Psalm 37:7)

There’s that other shudder making word… patiently. Not only do we wait but we wait patiently. Not worrying, caring, fretting, resistant, restless, uneasy but  steadfast, steady, unwavering, unmoved, calm, peaceful, tolerant. A friend of mine calls it that “P” word because he dislikes it so much. When we are patient we again allow faith and trust to grow. We wait in hope.

“Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land;” (Psalm 37:34)

So many times the verses that speak about waiting have a promise attached, like the one above.  I love the promise in the verse I first quoted from Isaiah Chapter 40.

“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)

Surely it is worth waiting on God for the renewing of strength, to be able to have your Spirit soar like an eagle, to not grow weary or faint.

What about this for another promise. Receiving the goodness of God.

“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25 ESV)

If we wait on Him God will listen to us and will act.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

This is what I want in my life. I want God to take me out of the mud and slime and I want to be on a firm foundation, so that I am not tossed about by every whim that comes into my head. Oh to be steadfast!!! More than anything I want that new song in my mouth. Away with the old and onto the new. A new song in my mouth, please God!! “Wait” So I am learning to wait. That s all I to do, wait. I cannot get those things by doing only waiting. We are not raised up in the Heavenly realms and doing amazing things. We are seated in the Heavenly realms.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6)

There is a reason for us being seated. We are not just sitting down, we are seated in Jesus. Our starting point when we wait on God is there. Seated within, part of, inside, encompassed by, Jesus. We cannot do anything without knowing that we are seated in Jesus in the Heavenly realms. He is our starting place and our finishing place.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13)

We cannot do anything without Jesus. It’s not just about knowing in our mind but knowing in our Spirit. Knowing in our mind is taking the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Knowing in our Spirit is taking fruit from the Tree of Life. That is why we wait. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to show us who the power comes from. We can do nothing without Jesus. It is through Jesus that we have faith. Faith just doesn’t happen. We can quote scripture until we are blue in the face but until the Holy Spirit brings life into it we will see no results. Remember it’s not about knowing in our mind because that is taking the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil but it is knowing in our Spirit, which is taking fruit from the Tree of Life.

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. (Psam130:5-7)

I spoke in an earlier post about noticing when certain phrases are repeated in passages of scripture. Take a closer look! “More than watchmen wait for the morning” It was the watchman’s job to wait for the break of day to signal the start of the first worship in the temple. It also meant that his job was done so he could go home for a sleep. You can imagine how eager he was to see the dawn. The Psalmist waits more eagerly and expectantly than the man who can’t wait to get off work!! That is real expectancy. His whole being waits. Every part of him is waiting. I want to be like that. All of me waiting for God because in Him is unfailing love and full redemption.

I hope this is a helpful introduction to waiting on God. I want to finish with two quotes from Charles Spurgeon, who was a great man of God,

“If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.”

“We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.” (Charles Spurgeon)

 

waiting-for-santa
Wait Expectantly

I Am The Vine

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John ch 15 v 5 – 8)

I love this passage of scripture. For me it seems to some up what a Christian is all about. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. So why do we try? We put in a lot of effort to be all that God wants us to be, without, at times, actually being attached to the vine. We have this attachment in our heads through knowledge but our hearts are crying out for a real relationship with Jesus. It’s as if we flip in and out of  a real connection with Him. Can you imagine a vine branch suddenly deciding to have a few hours off and go and join an orange tree or a rose bush, just for a change. I know it’s a silly analogy but often we are like that, we take time off to be attached to another tree.

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This is such an old vine! Nothing weak about this vine!!

When a branch starts to grow from a vine it starts as a shoot. It is part of the branch. The tiny shoot is not separate from the branch. The same DNA is in the shoot as in the branch. The structural support tissues of the vine provide the nutrients, water and everything that comes from photosynthesis. I hope you are suitably impressed, I looked it up!!! It means, simply put, that if the shoot isn’t part of the vine it withers and dies. What I love about the shoot growing from the branch is that there is no effort involved! It doesn’t strive to be part of the vine,….. it is. All that it needs is provided by the vine itself. Are you getting the picture? Say it to yourself again. ” All that it needs is provided by the vine itself”. Let that sink in. If we are a branch coming from Jesus then He has all we need!

 

The key to being part of Him is to ‘remain’! Jesus says it over and over in this chapter. Remain! Remain! Remain! I heard Pastor Mark Zschech speak recently and he said if anything was repeated in a passage of scripture, we were to “Lean in”. I loved that expression. It is so visual. Lean in, go towards it, observe it closely, give it more attention!  In John chapter 15 where we find this passage there are eleven ‘remains’ in the first eleven verses. Obviously Jesus was trying to make a point!!!!!

Let’s ‘Lean In” on the word remain. Well first we need to be clear on one thing, Jesus didn’t speak English!! So He didn’t actually say ‘remain’. Jesus spoke Aramaic and although there are a few Aramaic phrases in the Gospels the majority of the New Testament is written in an old form of Greek. Scholars call it New Testament Greek! You would think that being scholars they would have come up with something more original than New Testament Greek! Any way the Greek word for remain is μένω.  The Phonetic Spelling is men’-o. As in (A)men and OH! (dear), men -oh. μένω means : I remain, continue, dwell, endure, be present, stand, abide, stay, wait. You see the point. We need to ‘remain, continue, dwell, endure, be present, stand, abide, stay, wait‘ in Jesus for Him to work through us. Unless we ‘remain, continue, dwell, endure, be present, stand, abide, stay, wait’ in Jesus we can do nothing. All these words are verbs, doing words, words about action. We cannot just sit back and expect it to all happen around us, we do have a part to play. The exciting part of this, is that we have someone inside of us who helps us, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our advocate. (John ch 14 v26). An Advocate is a champion, upholder, supporter, backer, promoter, proponent, exponent, protector, patron etc. I can honestly tell you that I cannot survive without the Holy Spirit in my life. God is so amazing that He asks us to do something for Him but then gives us the help to do it. What a Good Father we have! In a lot of churches the Holy Spirit is very rarely mentioned. God, the Father is talked about and so is God, the Son but God the Holy Spirit is talked about much less and yet He is on equal footing with both Father and Son. To put it simply, the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ replacement on earth. Just as the Disciples had Jesus to teach, encourage, help and even admonish at times, so we have the wonderful Holy Spirit to exactly the same. We have Jesus with us all the while.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt ch 28 v 20)

Let’s get back to the point. We have established that it is important to remain, continue, dwell, endure, be present, stand, abide, stay, wait’ in Jesus and that the Holy Spirit helps us do it. We know that Jesus laboured the point, continually saying “Remain in me”, but why is it so important for us.

First of all let me remind you of this scripture,

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter ch 5 v 8)

Say no more! If we step outside of fellowship with Jesus we are more likely to allow our enemy to have a foothold. We have God’s protection.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command  his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra;  you will trample the great lion and the serpent.” (Psalm 91 v 9 -13)

Not only do we get protection from our enemy but also the power to crush him. (verse 13) Don’t you want that?

Not only do we have protection but we also have rest.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  (Psalm 91 v 1)

Remember the word dwell means the same as remain. You remain in Him, joined to the Vine and He promises rest. Remember our little shoot? It doesn’t have to strive to grow because, ” All that it needs is provided by the vine itself”!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.(Matt ch 11 v 28)

Unless we remain in Jesus we can’t produce fruit.grape-2852

If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15 v 5)

We don’t produce fruit but ‘much fruit’. I love this. We don’t produce the fruit, Jesus does. Fruit refers to our spiritual lives and all that develops from that. Our character, our prayer lives, how we are outside church, in work or school etc. With Jesus, our lives will be fruitful.  The Holy Spirit will show us how to be fruitful especially in the area of caring for the people God puts in our path. Just as an aside, God wants us to be there for each other and if we take time in our daily conversations with others to ask God what He wants us to say and pray during our conversations we will see much more of God in action.

By remaining in Jesus we have the privilege of being called His friend,

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John ch 15 v 15)

This is such an incredible concept. Quite mind blowing! The Son of God, the Great  ‘I Am’ is my friend. The Apostle Paul goes one step further,

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians ch 4 v 7)

If we remain in the Vine we are called friends, sons and heirs.

It is obvious the blessings that come to us by remaining and of course I have mentioned  only a few, but as I said  earlier, we do have a part to play. The Holy Spirit will show us the way, definitely and the starting points for this are simple. Read your Bible and pray!!! readpraysmallerYou can’t remain in the Vine unless you know who the Vine is. You will definitely end up attached to an orange tree or even worse a thorn bush. If you don’t already read your Bible, start in the Gospels, which tell us about Jesus’ life. Perhaps even start with the Gospel of John which is where the teaching about the Vine comes from. Wherever you start keep going. Spend time each day. When you are reading, ask the Holy Spirit to show you new things. I can tell you, there are times when I read a passage of scripture perhaps for the fiftieth time and suddenly I see something completely new. One of the most powerful ways to see see the power in the Bible is to declare it out loud. If you look at the first two posts on this blog you will see some examples. Also pray! Praying is just talking to God. It is a conversation between Him and you. Tell Him how your day is going. Ask Him questions. Tell Him when things are not going well. Ask Him for help? The Bible teaches us that if we come close to God He immediately will be close to us.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4 v 8)

Jesus also says this about prayer,

  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John ch 15 v 7)

Now if that is not an amazing blessing I don’t know what is. Remain! Remain! Remain!

Without remaining in Jesus we will wither and die, producing no fruit. Blessing-less! It’s a choice as all our Christian walk is. To be (in Jesus) or not to be (in Jesus) that is the question? See what I did there? Not just scripture but a bit of Shakespeare’s Hamlet too! What will be next? Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, Rogers and Hammerstein!!!!

Anyway what will you choose to do. There is only one answer really,

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John ch 15 v 9)

Prayer – God thank you that you love me so much that you call me your child. Help me today to remain in you. Holy Spirit guide me and encourage me in my walk with you daily. May I have all that you want for me in my life. Amen

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