"If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:6-7
The first part is the one that makes me turn my head and think Uh-oh...am I one of those?
I'm sure that if I fear this, there is a good chance I'm not one of those withered plants, but...are there things in me withered and unproductive? Maybe. Probably. I'll have to ask.
However, there are those who have tasted the heavenly relationship and have chosen to step out of that abiding with Christ. There, I believe, is when they begin to wither and could suffer the consequence of being thrown out. We must pray that such things don't happen!
This is one of the reasons I sit here and do what I do! To encourage you to remain in Christ! Remain in the Word. Abide with Him. Live with Him. Talk to Him.
And, this is not for our glory or our benefit or our consumption, it is for the bearing of HIS fruit. Turn and look at your life for a moment and search for the rich, luscious, green life that you are to bear. Do you see it? Do you long for it? Is it there?
I pray that it is. If it isn't, begin "re"abiding in Him. Ask Him for His abundant fruit in you life.
But, what about that second part? The who ask for whatever you wish part? I've asked, and it hasn't always happened. Does that mean I'm not remaining in Christ?
My constant striving to know Him will only gain me greater access to the heart of God, and in turn, my heart is changed, molded, formed into His heart, His thoughts. And before you know it, what I ask becomes what He asks.
And how is this done? From the pen of our Mentor, Andrew Murray, he says it is in unceasing prayer.
This passage is a promise! If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
This isn't a prayer that will be just for our fulfillment. Looking at the life of Jesus himself, we know this cannot be. Our lives must be for the longing of others to know the love of Jesus. The asking for what we wish doesn't come from looking around to see what we need! It comes from looking with the eyes of the Holy Spirit to see what the world needs.
Man, He is teaching me right now with you! This is such an amazing thing to realize! Andrew Murray says,
Many try to take the promise, and then look around for what they can ask. This is not the way, but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the need of souls, and the command to save them, and the power will come to claim the promise.
This is not a new teaching. We watched as Jesus gave Himself up to the leading and power of God and saw men come to Him. His love with God drove Him to ask for what the Father wanted...and it was us.
We can follow the same thing. Our hearts given to Christ in full humility and surrender might find themselves asking for what He wants rather than seeing that verse and looking for what we can find to ask for.
Let us all remain in Him, seek His heart, and ask for what He desires. We might find that love is the answer for every good thing we ask.
"The promise (of getting what you ask) is given in direct connection with fruitbearing. Limit yourself and your own needs, and you rob it of its power, you rob yourself of the power of appropriating it." Andrew Murray, The True Vine