Abide

By: Erika Johnson




Here I was, sitting on my floor, crying and feeling so perplexed and discontent. Honestly, nothing crazy was happening to make me feel this way.

 So …out came the words “God why do I feel like this, what is this... what is wrong?“

And I heard the response so quietly and quickly: “I’m pruning you.”

 

I sat and tried to listen for more, but of course, God already gave me what I needed.

So I began to journal and to study pruning, which led me to John 15.

 

Through God’s word, it was made clear to me that in this season, that you do not miss the importance of staying connected to God. Not just on Sundays or not just for your bible study on a Wednesday or Thursday, but 24/7.

 

Let's backtrack. John 15: 1-2 says:

I (Jesus) am the true vine and my father is the vinedresser (gardener)

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that

does bear fruit he prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

This told me that God saw that I had some fruit and that he was pruning me – or

more clearly defined as removing some things that I already had-

And as I researched the word prune it meant to cut away or reduce the extent of

something by removing superfluous or unwanted parts.

This also told me that there can be fruit that’s not necessarily bad but unwanted

because it can affect your growth of more fruit by ultimately becoming your source

AND distracting you from getting truly fed from the true source (vine – Jesus

Christ.)

 

John 15: 3 – 4 continues to say:

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. As the branch

cannot bear fruit by itself unless it ABIDES in the vine, neither can you, unless you

ABIDE in me. Now the word ABIDE can be also be defined as to bear, suffer, endure,

tolerate, or put up with something trying.

So as you endure trying times as things seem stripped from you or your life, do not

abide or stay connected to what God is pruning from you.

 

Instead cling, and I mean cling, onto GOD, know what he is instructing you to do

daily and get fed by him. Don’t get caught up in your fruits so much that you miss the

continual opportunity to get fed by the source for more fruit to be produced in your

life.

 

For me, some things (fruits) were becoming the source of my identity, the source of

my confidence and the source of my contentment, joy, and peace. Sound familiar? Like a

new job position, significant other, new business venture, or success. Remember, these things are great and feed our ego, but they won’t last forever.

 

Allow this to be an encouraging reminder that there is so much here for us, fruits of

the spirit to be developed in us, and fruits that we can bear to multiply and bless

others with.

 

Just don’t forget the source.