John 15 has a hold on me. I can’t seem to get out of the chapter and the one before it.
I’ve been talking with several hurting friends. They’ve been pruned, and they don’t appreciate it. They’re fussed up because things aren’t going to plan. Perhaps they (and we) don’t get that pruning is an honor mentioned early in the chapter.
If you bear fruit, the Father prunes you so you can bear more fruit. Pretty simple and very good.
But pruning is only part of the picture.
Twice in this chapter. Jesus says if we abide in him (and obey), we can ask for whatever, and it will be done for us.
He also says that we didn’t choose him—he chose us. And that our obedience proves our love. I take comfort in those two statements. I’m not a very expressive person, so I seldom feel loving enough, but I do obey, so I guess that box is ticked. And the chosen stuff? I had other plans but got drafted into this vocational ministry thing.
However, most of my problems stem from my moaning and groaning when things don’t turn out the way I hope or plan. I can really get into thinking that those promises in John 15 just ain’t so.
Then I stop to remember that Jesus is either a liar, or he’s provided everything that I need.
If he’s a liar, we all might as well give up on everything we believe. But if we assume he’s already provided everything we need; something is wrong with the way we look at the world.
Sometimes it pays to look in the mirror and ask what you don’t understand about his provision.
Accepting what he already provided has always led me to innovation.
I remember when our congregation had about half the money it would take to get on our land in terms of a conventional church building (including the ability to borrow).
Plenty of space for moaning!
Eventually, we stopped whining and remembered that Jesus promised to provide what we asked so we could get on with the fruit-bearing business.
We looked at the circumstance from a different angle and began to ask what we should do with what he had provided. The answer: “A tent.”
Granted, it’s carpeted and air-conditioned, but it’s still a tent. And it came in within the bounds of what heaven had provided. Actually, believing Jesus can be disruptive in all sorts of good ways. Innovation is one of the best.
So, do you serve a liar, or do you need to ask for wisdom?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, and even more, we’re craving to hear your faith and innovation stories. The comments box is there just for you!