Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.
And why do so many complain that it is not so? Because they do not
believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,
and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.
-Andrew Murray, The True Vine
Every branch in me that bears not fruit
He takes away. – John 15:2
There is the lesson of perfect conformity. The branch is exactly like the vine in every aspect – the same nature, the same life, the same place, the same work. In all this they are inseparably one. And so the believer needs to know that he is partaker of the divine nature, that he has the very nature and spirit of Christ in him, and that his one calling is to yield himself to a perfect conformity to Christ. The branch is a perfect likeness of the vine; the only difference is the one is great and strong, and the source of strength; the other little and feeble, ever needing and receiving strength. Even so the believer is, and is to be, the perfect likeness of Christ.
There is the lesson of absolute dependence. The vine has its stores of life and sap and strength not for itself, but for the branches. The branches are and have nothing but what the vine provides and imparts. The believer is called to, and it is his highest blessedness to enter upon, a life of entire and unceasing dependence upon Christ. Day and night, every moment, Christ is to work in him all he needs.
And then there is the lesson of undoubting confidence. The branch has no care; the vine provides all; it has but to yield itself and receive. It is the sight of this truth that leads to the blessed rest of faith, the true secret of growth and strength: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” What a life would come to us if we only consented to be branches! Dear child of God, learn the lesson. You have but one thing to do: Only be a branch – nothing more, nothing less! Just be a branch; Christ will be the Vine that gives all. And the Husbandman, the mighty God, who made the Vine what it is, will as surely make the branch what it ought to be.
* * *
Lord Jesus, I pray, reveal to me the heavenly mystery of the branch, in its living union with the Vine, in its claim on all its fullness. And let Your all-sufficiency, holding and filling Your branches, lead me to the rest of faith that knows that You work all.