“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
~John 15:7-8 (NIV).
Promises, promises. “Ask whatever you wish...” If we haven’t ever ‘read’ anything into this statement for ourselves personally, in passages like the above—and Psalm 37:4—we’re probably not human. I know I have, quite a few times if I’m honest.
But we’re loath to miss the real context. Putting God first realigns our wishes (Matthew 6:33).
The classical invocation in this portion of Jesus’ final charges to the disciples in that fateful final week, before Gethsemane and Golgotha, is “Remain in me; remain in my Word.”
The Process of ‘Pruning’
Two outcomes are shown earlier in John 15. Some of the more unproductive (unfruitful) branches of the Vine are cut off or burned, having missed their mark, whilst the productive (fruitful) branches are pruned, i.e. they’re improved, so they can become even better.
Although God’s mercy is incalculable, he is the perfect manager; God is never satisfied to leave us in our growth. He will engineer the circumstances so we do grow; that or diminish, if that’s our choice.
Life—with or without God—contains this truth: we must grow or die; physically, spiritually, mentally, cognitively, emotionally etc. There is no standing still in life.
Beginning with a Noble Objective
The noblest objective truly is to glorify God and to see all we do, including all our growth, as a direct reflection on God and our relationship with Jesus.
The Christian—by taking the faith at its root—ostensibly holds to the teaching of Jesus, for his Word is primary. It always has been and always will be.
The Word of God, as installed in our lives, together with the Presence of God’s Spirit as we abide, will lead quite implicitly to the glorification of the Father.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.