Did you know that an anaconda kills its prey by coiling its muscular body around the creature and squeezing until the prey can no longer breathe?
In Isaiah 27, we come across the name Leviathan. Who is Leviathan? It is in fact a different name for Satan. In the chapter, Satan is described to be swiftly moving, coiling, like a writhing serpent that slowly sucks the life out of those who give into his wicked ways.
“In that day, sing about the fruitful vineyard. I, the Lord, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.” –Isaiah 27:2-3
But there is good news. In the same chapter, we also read about the Lord’s promises to sing about the fruitful vineyard, to watch it carefully, and to continue to water over it.
Even in the bleakest of situations, where we feel like issues, or trials are sucking the life out of us, remember to receive His love, His insights, and His favor, just as He promised in Isaiah 27.
Jesus called Himself the Living water (read John 7:37-39) because He alone is the life-giving stream.
Think about the aquifer – it has water running underground, trapped between layers of rock. If we drill down into it, we can access the water underneath. When we begin to tap and drill down into our community, like the aquifer, we become household wells, and carriers of God’s good news. It is through us that people can also start accessing the Living Water. A water that refreshes and brings forth peace, joy, and grace to those who draw from it.
So Jesus’ life is a life that is offered to us now. Not just when we die and go to heaven, but His life is readily available to those who choose to tap in and draw near to Him.
Fruitlessness to Fruitfulness
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5
We don’t hear and use “bearing fruit” a lot in our American culture. This is because we don’t associate it with things like producing or being productive. But as a follower of Jesus, bearing fruit is produced and manifested in our life through our thinking, our behavior, and attitude.
So therefore, what we say or do, we behold. We need to behold the truth that our ultimate destiny is secured in Jesus as well as our day to day security. Our present is all secured in Jesus.
So how do we move from fruitlessness into Kingdom fruitfulness? Certainly not on our own.
We cannot be fruitful if we do things by ourselves. We all want the good stuff, and Jesus is inviting us to activate His promises in our life. The secret sauce in this passage is the word “remain.”
In the dictionary, the word remain means to stay, to yearn for, or to linger. And in John 15, Jesus uses the word “remain” 11 times, so this word must be important.
When can you find 10 minutes in your day to take a moment to hear God’s Word? If your answer is you don’t have the time, then that’s a problem.
You may just need to wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual. Or perhaps turning off the television 10 minutes before bedtime. Maybe listening to a worship song or a podcast on your commute?
No matter what your answer is. We must take a moment to breathe the life-giving gift of Jesus and His presence in our lives.
This is what “remain” looks like – it’s practical and actionable.
For now, remain is a keyword in our vocabulary, and stopping to breath is a key tool in our tool belt to bear fruit.