Remain- continue to exist, especially after other similar or related people or things have ceased to exist.Dictionary Definitions from Oxford Languages
I love that definition of remain. To exist when others stopped. To stay when others left. To continue when others quit. I really love it when you put in context with the scripture of John 15.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5(NIV)
This passage tells me there is so much importance in remaining- in abiding, with the Lord. It tells me that I am unable to do anything real if I walk away. I’m ineffective without His presence. Even if those around me cease to abide, obey, and cling to the Vine, it doesn’t change the instructions or the necessity for me to hang on.
My connection and relationship to the Vine has to be real for my fruit to be true. You can’t have a real ministry, but a fake relationship with Christ. We simply can’t bear fruit without Him.
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.” John 15:16-17(AMP)
We aren’t capable of unselfishly loving people without the Vine.
If we don’t allow God to love on us and provide fulfillment for us, then we will expect the people we should be pouring into to sustain us. Then we get bitter because all they do is take from us.
But if we are connected to the Vine, and He is our Source, then we will be so abundantly provided for and fulfilled that giving and giving and giving some more is not a problem. Because we’re not the source, we are just the container.
I know for me, this is where I get dangerously close to falling head first into pride. It’s sneaky. Sometimes we are wallowing in it and don’t even realize it. From the outside looking in, I appear to be serving the Lord diligently. But if my heart is in it to please people, to make someone proud of me, to keep up appearances, or just to make me feel good about myself- I’m not serving. I’m stealing.
Stealing glory, stealing praise, stealing attention, and time. When this happens, pride is running amuck in my life.
Pride has no place on the Vine. Prune it.
As John 15 tells me, I can’t produce any real fruit on my own. No matter how many good works I do, if my heart is not connected to the Vine, it’s a dead work. Doing a lot of action, but producing nothing lasting.
One day as I was sitting, and just praying in the Spirit when God spoke to me clearly, warning me about the pride that needed pruning.
He told me that If I didn’t let Him love on me in my own personal relationship (by remaining in His presence and spending time with Him), I would look for validation and importance from the people I’m supposed to be ministering to. He warned me that if I didn’t stop only doing works without slowing down to welcome His revelation, and let Him satisfy my soul, I was going to end up trying to find fulfillment in position, or power, or reputation.
There is no anointing in that.
He also spoke this phrase to my heart and I want you to hear it and remember it.
You can’t properly love people you’re trying to impress.
The desire to be what you think they want, will override what the Spirit knows they need. It will produce false and fictitious behavior and hinder the Holy Spirit from moving how He desires.
A perfect example of this in our everyday lives is when you first start dating someone new. You hide the things you think they won’t like and embellish on the things you think they will. Sometimes we even out right lie to become what we think they want. The problem is, we can’t hide who we are forever. Someone always ends up disappointed and angry.
There is no faking it in the genuine love of Christ. There is no disguise on the Vine. Love must be true and real.
“Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.” Romans 12:9(AMP)
Pride will hold you down and back longer than anything else. It can be pruned by a real and genuine relationship with God. You can’t fake anointing. You can’t fake fruit.
“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6(AMP)
The Lord isn’t asking for you to be perfect, or have all the answers, or do all the work. He simply wants a true relationship with you. Just you. Exactly as you are.
“God meets us where we are, but never leaves us like He found us.”Joyce Meyer
Above all your productivity, God just wants the real, unmasked you.
Let’s prune pride by coming before the Lord in our own personal one on one time, and laying everything at His feet. Asking what He wants us to get rid of, to keep, and to grow brand new.
This is how we produce fruit that lasts.