John 15:5 (KJV)
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Is your primary mode of living one of exertion, are you drowning in a sense of demand? Or are you soaking in the rest and supply of Christ’s finished work? In Christ, we are swallowed up into the good news that, one with the Godhead, our only job description is to abide in our new reality – the life of the Trinity (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Abiding is the posture of rest and simple trust in the all-sufficient, practical nature of God’s love and kindness. Because Christ has enveloped us, engulfed us into union with him, and immersed us in a whole new world of unceasing glory, we know that this passive posture of just being loved by Father God is a canoe on paradise waters, where God carries us into every single one of our blessings. We are living eternally on the paradise honeymoon-island of God’s heart, discovering one blessing after another in this good news message of who we have become and what we have gained in and through Jesus Christ.
Just like a branch, we rest in our union with the divine – our inclusion in this good news that heaven is here now. This posture of abiding makes us to experience the nourishment of the Father’s love and provision, his grace, and we discover that we effortlessly behold and manifest glorious fruits in each aspect of our life. Our natural posture is one of fruitfulness in the good news – as we rest, his fruits flow through us, with vitality, life, glorified thoughts and emotions, miraculous blessings, honey-glory, security, comfort and so much more. Psalm 23:2 (KJV) tells us that ‘he maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.’ (emphasis mine), as the magnitude of this positive gospel message presses in on us from all sides, so that we are passive recipients of the Father’s beauty and grace (see 2 Corinthians 5:14). This is why John 15:16 (KJV) explains that we are ‘ordained’ to bear fruit. A branch does not strive or exert effort to produce or maintain fruit, it just abides in the healthy branch, simply remaining in reality, and sweet nectar flows and produces all kinds of pleasant fruit! We are carried along in the bliss-revelation of the good news. This is why the Greek word for ‘ordained’ used in John 15:16, tithēmi, is also translated ‘established’. God has established us in heaven on earth in the here and now (see Mark 1:14-15), so that our effortless, natural existence is pure, heavenly vitality. The heavens are already open and are flowing consistently to and through us, in our union with the Trinity (see 1 Corinthians 6:17). Sink deeper into this reality, continually abide…
Psalm 46:10 (KJV) tells us that we are to ‘Be still, and know that I am God:’ We have permission to be conscious of nothing but the heavenly reality (see Colossians 3:1-3). All and every gift of heaven is freely ours; we can simply relax into and enjoy the honey-pot of God’s glory through abiding. It will begin to captivate us and articulate itself through our daily life, in our emotions and through our imagination, as this good news message, whilst being completely relational, organic, and simple, is truly not shallow. It has endless depths of glory, wonder, inspiration, and delight. It is an entirely new world. In Christ, Romans 6:4 (PHILLIPS) describes to us that we have risen to life ‘on a new plane altogether’. As we know this, the old problems, the bitter circumstances, are completely destroyed, without us having to figure anything out, lift a finger, or even understand how the situations worked themselves out. Christ is all and in all, in and through our lives, so we can enjoy the life of the Godhead in all things (see Colossians 3:11). This is why Meister Eckhart, a Christian mystic, has declared that “nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness”. We can be still, simply abide, and recognise that the old has gone, and the glory of God is here in Christ! (see 2 Corinthians 5:17)