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The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.

5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.


In the winter of 2008, I planted three grape seeds. It was just a very strong impulse, a very powerful unction in my spirit to do so, and I wanted to see where this unction was leading me. I didn’t really question it; I just did it. I felt that the Spirit was leading me to a set up for an illustration. Usually, when that happens, I know it is going to be a while before I get the answer to why I was supposed to do something that at the time didn’t seemingly make sense. Possibly years. I said to myself, ‘Don’t you think you need to go on and get started?”

So I bought some really good growing soil, and carefully pressed each seed in, and watered the dirt. I left the planting pot outside through the winter, and in the spring, I was delighted to see that all three of them yielded a plant.
For the next year, I read up on the cultivation of the grape vine. I learned that you had to post them into the ground, so that the vines could climb and produce fruit. You had to build an arbor so that the leaves would be protected from the sun and keep them from burning. You had to treat them with something to discourage fungus from growing and insects from attacking. You had to prune them to encourage quality growth and fruit bunches. You had to net them to keep birds and other creatures from eating the fruit.

Not that my little plants were ready to have any of that done to them. They were too small. So they spent the year beside my porch herb garden. In the fall, their leaves were still green, so I thought, ‘Good going, but I am taking you guys inside.”
Over the course of the second winter, two of the grape vines died away. They didn’t have any leaves, and their new growth died back, until they just had some old twisted parts of the vine at the base. I snapped one and there wasn’t any sap inside. I checked the roots, and they were mealy, root rot. I thought, well, there isn’t anymore use for you guys. So I tossed them. The third one still had a leaf or two, so I left it alone, occasionally tossing a cup of water into the pot to keep the soil moist.

In the next spring of 2011, I place the pot outside. By this time, I there were no leaves, but I thought maybe it had just gone dormant. I really didn’t have much experience with grape growing, but California makes it looks so easy….The plant quickly gained more vines and big, pretty, green, large-vein leaves. I left it on the corner of the porch and fertilized it occasionally. It really thrived with the heat and the watering too.

Then the winter came again, and I forgot to take it in before a cold snap. It was ironic, because that was the only truly cold snap that we had for the year. When I got home from work the next morning, the leaves looked dead, and frozen. I was disappointed, and decided not to even bother with removing it from its place. I had really worked hard with that plant. Through the winter, I would every once in a while look at the pot it was in, thinking that I could use it for an avocado seed or a mango plant, but I left it alone.

Imagine my surprise when, in the spring of this year, 2012, I looked out of the office window, and saw it growing, almost wildly with an abundance of new tendrils and big fleshy leaves. Yes! I was thrilled! So later that week, I went to a local nursery and bought three more grapevines, the seedless variety. I staked out a great spot in the yard, where poled them 6 feet apart, a place that didn’t hold too much water when it rained, and where the water would soak in if I had to hose them, when it didn’t rain. They are right under a tree that allows them to get maximum sunlight in the morning, but which gives them shade in the heat of the day, so that the leaves don’t burn. I have been monitoring them. Even though they are all the same age, my vine, which I grew, is four times bigger, and seems healthier, though I am giving them the same care and attention.

So, this is where the unction lead me. I know you may be thinking, this was a long illustration! I thought so myself, but I am going somewhere with this. Sometimes, when a Christian experiences a particularly difficult trial or spiritual attack from the enemy, which may come through people, situations, finances, health, etc., it dries them up so much so, that they may think that they have nothing left to give. How can all the dreams in them possibly come out of someone so dried out; they don’t feel like they have any sap left in them. How can they possibly now even grow fruit? Where is their usefulness in the body of Christ. Where do they fit? Their spiritual leaves even feel as if they have fallen off, and they don’t feel the Son shining on them. They don’t feel anything. In fact, the progress that they have made in their lives may even seem as if it has fallen away with the winter of the trial. It feels like they have grown backwards and not forward. All they literally have left are their foundation, their spiritual roots.

But that’s good. That means, when the winter is over, you are going to bloom again. God has something to build on, to build you up, to get you going. You are going to start growing again. Right now, in the winter of your trial, you might feel reclusive, and out of touch with the walk in Christ that you are used to walking. But all that energy that you were giving to one season of your life, well, you need all that energy that is stored in your roots to make the transition into spring. Some of your growth has to be trimmed away, but when your spiritual spring comes again, you will come out stronger and have more growth and more fruit than when you went into your trial winter.

And right now, you don’t even need to grow anyway. Yes, it is good to do the work of the Lord right where you are, but it is way better to do it and bloom where He is going to transplant you after your winter is over. And you know what? Even if you are trying to do a force ripe on some fruit that you are working with now, please tell yourself the truth-it is a good work, it is right, but it doesn’t feel right.
You know why? Because you aren’t in your spring, you aren’t in your place of destiny. So don’t beat yourself up too hard.

Look, every chosen person in the bible had their winters, and then their spring came and they were able to do some mighty works, but it was in SEASON! Don’t try to force your season. You cannot be transplanted now, because the place that you will be planted in may not be ready, the condition of the soil may be in a stage of preparation. The climate may be in a transition of change. Maybe, your roots might even get damaged if you are transplanted too soon. Just wait on your spring. Now, none of that feels good, but remember, AND please believe me when I say that the Lord is going to use all the things that caused you pain and aggravation if you just don’t faint, and don’t let your foundation get corrupted, and obey Him in this season.

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this is very uplifting I love the fact that we can not bear fruit by our self. god is awesome

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What a thoughtful prose, truly inspired by the Lord. Thank you for the hope it has instilled and the thought of rest, relax, and trust His process in our lives.

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