I ended my previous post with – Next post we will find out what God had in mind about abiding! You just might be surprised!
In light of some fresh insights that happened yesterday, about Jesus’ passage of ‘abiding’, I need to postpone the surprise of what it really means to abide. I think these additional nuggets will wow you, like they did me.
So hang on for a series of good stuff about John 15:1-12!
The previous post, Part One, talked about things we do that enable us to abide in the vine. In and of themselves they can be part of growing in our relationship with God, but they are not what Jesus was specifically talking about when it comes to abiding.
This post, Part Two, exposes the false vine possibility!
Jesus said, “I am the TRUE vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (Jn 15:1, Emphasis added.)
This implies there can be a false vine and even a false vinedresser!
The Father would not tend to a false vine, right? He’d be wasting His time and not being true to Himself. Thus, if we are abiding in a false vine, then that means we could have someone (or a thing) tending to us that is not a true vinedresser/husbandman/worker of the soil. Hey, this could also mean the possibility of false fruit!
Gosh, what could a false vine possibly be?
- a particular denomination/non-denomination/house church
- a pastor (certain personality and teaching style)
- the Bible
- other believers (AKA fellowship)
Am I saying these are bad? No. But, they can be if they are substitutes for the real deal. Taken to extreme, they could even be idols! That is when they are really ‘bad’ for us. Those things cannot produce fullness or fruitfulness, even though they might ‘feel’ or look like they do.
How to know if these things are not false vines:
- they are not your identity or even make up part of your identity
- they do not consume your time and energy
- they do not lure or sway your thoughts and emotions
- they do not control you (e.g. through guilt, fear, condemnation, manipulation)
- they point you to Jesus
- they help unfold the wonder of Jesus
- they help you fall more in love with Jesus
- they increase your love for all the ‘branches’
Obviously Jesus made it clear we are to abide in Him, and Him only. But that can seem nebulous, confusing, or difficult. How do you abide in something you can’t see? Then He talked about pruning, casting out branches, and fire stuff. Yikes!
So maybe this abiding in Him doesn’t look so good in light of ‘judgment’ that seems to be part of His telling us to abide?
Maybe, those substitutes aren’t so bad after all? They can seem to have an appearance of abiding, so isn’t that good enough? Then I don’t have to think about those verses of being cut off and thrown into the fire.
If you have any judgment notions about ‘abiding in the vine’ then please know religion’s ‘fallen man gospel’ has duped you. You are being deceived by false teaching that nullifies the Word of God.
Okay, enough of that religious mindset of hell fire, better watch out, naughty or nice junk! This kind of twisted and confused thinking has propped up our notion that God can be mean, even if He is joyful.
This false teaching actually promotes a false vine and leads to continued uncertainty in one’s relationship with God.
As true abiding unfolds in up coming posts you will see the tenderness, supply, nurturing, fullness, and joy of it all!
Stay tuned. You will never look at abiding as an uncertain and scary dynamic of Christian living again.
- There is an ease and a rest in abiding in the true vine. If you get uptight about abiding then just figure you have heard false teaching. Truth is on the way to bring you pure abiding.
- Scary prospects come with the traditional religious gospel message. The true Gospel has nothing but certainty, clarity, paradoxical and illogical grace, compassion, love that never fails, faithfulness that covers our unfaithfulness. Abide in truth, ditch the false uncertain junk.
- Enjoy and receive from those ‘things’ that make Jesus even more real and nourishing. They can be an asset towards abiding in Him, and in Him alone. But remember true abiding is empowered by the Spirit of God. (1Jn 4:13)