John 15:1–17 contains one of the Bible’s most powerful metaphors. Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” Your relationship to the vine affects whether this passage offers you encouragement, a challenge, a warning, or some combination of the three. No matter where you are physically, spiritually, or emotionally, Jesus calls us to remain in him—and by remaining in him, we can bear fruit. So ask yourself: are you remaining?
After years of following Jesus out of duty, nineteenth-century preacher and missionary Andrew Murray discovered the passionate, fruitful life to which Jesus calls his followers. Murray prayed, “May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence.” Murray pursued a life filled by the joy of Jesus, and put missions work at the forefront of his ministry. Thousands of miles from the place where he discovered his faith and far from his home, Murray remained in Jesus.
Running on empty
Murray understood the feeling of being withered. He knew what it was like to feel spiritually empty, emotionally drained, and weary from the troubles of life. In the devotional Abiding in Christ, he responded to the euphoric joy of experiencing God’s provision, “And yet you have had some disappointment. As time went on, your expectations were not always realized. The blessings you once enjoyed were lost; the love and joy of your first meeting with your savior, instead of deepening, have become faint and weak. And you have often wondered why, with such a mighty and loving savior, your experience of salvation was not a fuller one.”
Maybe you used to read the Word more. Maybe you used to pray more. Maybe you’ve stopped going to church, or meeting with a friend to talk about what Jesus has been teaching you. Murray writes that when we experience this spiritual dryness, “The answer is very simple. You wandered from him. The blessings he bestows are all connected with his ‘Come to me,’ and are only to be enjoyed in close fellowship with him. You either did not fully understand, or did not rightly remember, that the call meant ‘Come to me and remain with me.’”
Refuel your spirit
Murray sought to live every moment for Christ, and to continually find the joy that comes with abiding in him. In the midst of this, Murray wrote over 240 books and treatises. He poured out his passionate pursuit of Jesus in his prolific writing, encouraging you to answer Jesus’ call to “come” and “abide.”
If you’re experiencing spiritual drought, Jesus is still there for you—he wants you to remain in him as he remains in you. There are so many resources out there that help us remain in the vine. Scripture and prayer are crucial, but when you’re in a season of drought, sometimes those spiritual elements can feel dry, too. Sometimes it takes a little inspiration from another imperfect human to point you back to the perfection of Jesus and to remember that apart from the vine, us branches shrivel, and our fruit dries up.
To learn more about abiding in Christ, and to find the encouragement to remain in him, I highly recommend Andrew Murray’s daily devotional, Abiding in Christ, as well as Teach Me to Pray. Explore all of Murray’s powerful titles on Vyrso today.
John 15:1–17 contains one of the Bible’s most powerful metaphors. Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” Your relationship to the vine affects whether this passage offers you encouragement, a challenge, a warning, or some combination of the three. No matter where you are physically, spiritually, or emotionally, Jesus […]