We are currently working through R.A. Torrey’s book “How to Pray,” published by Whitaker House Publishing.
Let’s be honest, how many times have we prayed and prayed only to go without an answer? What if I could show you a secret in the Word of God that, if followed, guaranteed results? Too good to be true? Let’s find out…
John 15:7 – If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. The promise of the Word of God here is simple: ask what “you” will and it shall be done for you! Really, the question is not with the latter part of this verse as much as it is with just one word: abide.
The Greek word for abide is men’-o. Which means to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for).
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines abide like this: 1. to rest, or dwell (Genesis 29:19) 2. To tarry or stay for a time (Genesis 24:55) 3. To continue permanently or in the same state; to be firm and immovable (Psalms 119:90) 4. To remain, to continue (Acts 27:31; Ecclesiastes 8:15).
In context, Jesus is comparing Himself to a vine and His disciples as the branches of that vine (John 15:1-7). To fully understand this passage, we will have to look at the natural side of a vine and it’s branches.
Some branches continued in the vine –in living union — so that the sap or life of the vine constantly flowed into the branches. They had no independent life of their own. Everything in them was simply the outcome of the life of the vine flowing into them. Their buds, leaves, blossoms, and fruit were not really theirs, but the buds, leaves, blossoms, and fruit of the vine. For us to “abide” in Christ (or; the anointing), we must quit dwelling on the thoughts of the enemy, or quit trying to work out our lives with our own wisdom (Proverbs 3:5), and to quit relying on our feeling to show us the way. We must look to Christ continuously to get our thoughts to be His thoughts (Romans 12:2), and to get our feelings to be His feelings (1 Corinthians 2:16). As the branch has no life of it’s own, we must completely die out to self.
Can a branch remain alive outside of the vine? –NO– We have all seen a dead branch that was still attached to the vine. Even at a certain point, it still has the appearance of being alive! So what is holding the dead branch to the vine? The answer is: the structure that the branch grew while it was alive. It is only hanging on until there comes a great enough wind to sever it from the vine! What causes a branch to die on the vine? It is always, in every case, an outside force that kills the branch! In the physical realm it may have been a lighting strike or intense heat from a fire, or may be even insects. However the death of the branch comes, it has never been the fault of the vine! In the spiritual realm, it is because of the enemy (John 10:10), it is always because of him. When the enemy convinces one of the branches to begin to listen to his thoughts the decaying begins, and unless it is stopped and repented of, it always ends in the death of the branch. It may hang on for a while, but eventually the wind of the Holy Ghost gets to it and severs it from the vine.
Please hear my heart in this, it is not my responsibility to remove the dead branch, nor is it the job of any other man (Matthew 13:24-30). Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying, God gives us every opportunity to repent and rectify our relationship with Him! (Luke 13:6-9)
So, to receive whatever we ask in prayer, we must abide in Christ. Then we can have our every desire fulfilled. The interesting thing is that our desires will actually be the desires of Christ and our prayers will actually be the prayers of Christ, and Jesus Christ never went without anything that He asked God for!
Abiding in Christ is really a very simple matter, though it is a wonderful life of privilege and of power! Will you make the decision today, to fully abide in Christ? As Pastor Brad says, “Living for God is high adventure!”
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