How it should tease us to think that a branch in a tree tries hard to remain where it is and tries all the more harder to bear fruit! Indeed, no branch does anything like that. It simply remains where it is. That is, it remains connected. In that connection it finds its link with life, nourishment and growth. As a result it naturally bears fruit.
So also with your Christian life. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b NIV). So the secret is not struggling to produce fruit. Instead your focus should be to remain in Him. How do you do that? Jesus gave us that secret too. It is by allowing the Word of God to dwell in you, to take control of your thoughts and attitudes. When you spent time, much time, with God’s Word each day, you learn the secret of remaining in Jesus just like a branch remains in the vine.
On the other hand it is foolish to try to do things for God without learning the secret of remaining in Him. That is why Jesus said that anyone who does not remain in Him is like a branch thrown away, and once it withers is picked up and thrown into the fire. See, the interesting part is that a thrown-out branch will look green for some more time. But slowly it withers because it has no connection with the vine.
So let us humble ourselves before God and examine our lives. Have we tried to do things for God our own way? If so, let us realize our mistake. And acknowledge that we can do nothing without God. What God is asking of us is that we remain in Him, that is stay connected. Again, that is not what you do only once in a while. Instead, it is something constant. For example, think about a branch taking a walk and then coming back to join the vine! You might have laughed now at the foolishness of that thought.
Yet sometimes that is what we do; isn’t it? We think that we can get connected to God on Sunday mornings and then do our own things during the week. And then come back and join God the next Sunday morning. Such a branch withers. But if you’re serious about bearing fruit for God, the only way to do it is to stay connected at all times. And as you allow God’s Word–the Bible–to saturate your mind and thoughts, all that you do will bring Glory to God. Such fruit will last.
Let us remember Jesus’ words, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4b NIV).