In this season of uncertainty and turmoil, God's been speaking to me a lot about connectedness. We've often heard the phrase "He is the vine, and we are the branches." Have you ever wondered what that actually means? Once, I went to Italy and worked in a vineyard. As I was ever so slowly tying the branch to a wire to train it, being so careful to make sure it stayed connected fully to the vine, these words came alive! “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. I am the sprouting vine, and you are my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from you - but when you love separated from me, you are powerless.” John 15:5 (TPT)
A sprouting vine speaks of new life, and of growth. Jesus calls us His branches. Each branch and each leaf on the branch is unique and significant. This picture of a tree can show us how significant we really are.
If you look out your window and can see a tree, notice how each branch is different, unique, and important. All the branches must be attached to the trunk. But rather than just attached, you will notice, they grow out of the trunk. They are not put on separately and attached with another material, they are part of the trunk and growing out of it. There are many places in the New Testament that Jesus spoke of this example, wanting to give an everyday picture of a very important truth. Each branch is necessary, significant, and carries the shape and function of the tree.
You have never seen a fruit tree work really hard to produce fruit. It goes through a lot in the process of producing that fruit, but it doesn’t “strain” its muscles. It is made to produce fruit, so it just does. But how? The sap that runs through the inside of the trunk into the branches brings the nourishment and water it needs to function the way it was created to function.
Imagine with me for a moment that the sap is the Holy Spirit. Now, if you are that tree Jesus is speaking of, you are connected, and growing out of Jesus, the trunk, or the vine. Holy Spirit (the sap) is running through you from Him, bringing you everything you need to produce fruit. You will find a list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Notice, the Bible calls it the Fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of _____ (insert my name or your name here.)
He, the Holy Spirit, produces His fruit in us effortlessly. He feeds us, nourishes us, grows us, and we take on the look and function of Jesus (the Sprouting Vine) while the fruit He produces streams from us as the verse above says. All that’s required is staying in union with Him as your source. He does all the work! And you become a significant fruit bearer that nourishes and feeds many!!
Vicki is Director of a ministry called "You are Worthy" and has 30+ years experience in full-time ministry and Christian missions.
She is an author, mother and educator who is passionate about leading others to discover their true identity and live their lives for God's glory. Visit You Are Worthy: www.youareworthy.net