What was God up to in 2020? What is God up to in 2021? Personally, I don’t know, but what I do know is that he is up to something and we need to find this out; because in John 15:5 it says, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’
We need to know what Christ is up to so that we can partake of his ministry. If we make our own plans apart from him, then our efforts will be fruitless. We simply need to read the Gospels to see a Pharisaic religious system that operated parallel to Christ’s earthly ministry that bore no fruit. It is only as we remain in Christ—being fed by the vine, coexisting with the vine—that we bear fruit.
John 15:7 (KJV) goes on to say, ‘If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will, and it shalt be done unto you’. To ‘abide’ is an active verb. It is something we do; it is not a belief.
Here then is the key to both abiding and bearing fruit: read the Bible and pray. We pray! Prayer brings reliance, not on ourselves, but on Christ. It is an act of releasing control and trusting him with the outcomes.
In John 15:8 it says: ‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit’. God wants us to bear fruit, because it brings him glory. When we come to God with the things that worry and concern us, we show our dependence on him to provide the answers. As God answers our prayers, this builds faith and reliance on him.
This year is a year of prayer, and in this edition of War Cry, Colonel Heather Rodwell reminds us why we pray. She encourages us to infuse prayer into our everyday lives, and, as we do this, we abide in Christ and can expect to bear the promised fruit.
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Ki te pāngia tētahi o koutou e te mamae, me īnoi. Ki te koa te ngākau o tētahi, me waiata.