In John 14: 16 -18
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” This scripture always amazes me; that the Creator of all things, the Uncreated God would choose to come and dwell in me, despite my shortcomings. What a privilege we have to be the dwelling place of the Most High God, and that He is with us always.
During this confinement, I’m sure we all notice the issues that need to be addressed around our dwellings which we never have time or perhaps finances for – that unsightly cupboard or the wall which needs painting or the tile which needs repair the curtains which need washing – the list goes on. I liken our dwellings to our spiritual lives, in our homes we desire to make them the best they can be so as to enjoy them and feel comfortable in them. Whilst we give attention to our physical dwellings, spending time doing things that we’ve placed on the back burner, let us consider the following by looking at the John 15: 1 to 5, vs1 Jesus says “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” A vinedresser attends to the vines in his care purposing the vine to produce healthy fruit in due season, this means that the vine needs to be rid of dead branches and deliberate pruning of living branches is required to enhance growth vs2 “every branch in Him that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” In vs 3 He states that we are already clean because of the word that He has spoken to us and in verse 4 He says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.” This teaching continues until vs 17 but I felt to focus on the first five verses concerning abiding for today. In the context of our abiding, it means to remain, continue to stay, to dwell / reside, to have an attitude of yielding / surrender, to accept. The vine is the part which begins at the roots, then extends beyond the soil, it is rooted in the ground, and it’s sturdy and transports nutrients to its branches. It would be strange to find branches saying “Well we’ve had enough of this vine, let’s go and find another.” No, they are attached, they rest, they are totally dependent, they receive from the vine, there identity is fully in the vine, and they possess the vine DNA, being separated would render them useless.
Just as we are abiding, yielding to the confines of our earthly dwellings and possibly evaluating what needs to change in the physical, let us continue to allow Him to spiritually vine dress; to do dwelling maintenance, cleaning and tidying, repositioning, re aligning, repairing, ridding of unnecessary clutter. The wonderful fact is that we don’t have to do this in our own strength, we are part of the true Vine, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, He is our Helper, He wants to minister into those areas which need dressing, perhaps they’ve been kept secret in a locked room in our heart. He desires to comfort us as we let go of things which are difficult to do so, He desires to strengthen us, give us peace in exchange for fear, joy in exchange for sadness and despair, give us rest from those things which plague us, give us beauty for ashes, to make all things new. As we allow the life giving blood of Jesus Christ the true Vine, the Prince of Peace to nourish us; He brings His resurrection life into every area which fails to abide and causes it to; all we need to do is to desire and choose to abide by trusting and asking Him to do what only He can do.
I pray that during this time in all our different dwellings locally, trans locally and across the globe, the Church would abide and allow the Father to vine dress as He continues to prepare His beautiful bride. As we abide, our lives testify of His goodness to those who are lost.