Thursday, May 01, 2014

Vine and Branches

There is a metaphor Jesus used to describe what the relationship that God’s family should have with him. He is like a vine; we are like branches.

The branches are connected to the vine. It is through the root, to the vine and into the branches that nutrients flow. It is the connection that gives life and health to the branches. It is the connection that produces fruit.

I have been using the term “heart-focus” to attempt to describe a person’s response to Jesus that activates this connection. And I have been trying to grasp what this means. Is it the same as mental focus? It is easy to see we are connected when we worship, pray or meditate. But what about watching TV, or driving to work? Do we live in a state of connect\disconnect? I don’t think so. Or at least, I don’t think that’s what God intended.

Mike Bickle has part of the answer, at least, in what he calls “behold and become”.

“Behold” refers to what a person “sees” about God – what he knows, understands and believes. “Becomes” refers to hold a person’s life develops. And beholding develops into becoming.

If we see God is primarily concerned about right living, about following the rules and doing the right thing, we are going to be involved in constantly checking our behavior, making sure we are doing the right thing, the “Christian” thing. We are going to be obsessed with failure … because if God is focused on us doing right, how will he feel when we do wrong?

And we have slipped, unnoticed, back into living by the law. The law does define right and wrong. It does define God’s right and wrong. But Scripture also says nobody can keep the law. God gave the law to push us to find a savior. To push us to grace.

(If we can’t keep the law before we gave allegiance to Jesus, why do we think we can keep the law after giving allegiance to Jesus.?)

If we see God is primarily concerned about having a relationship …

And I get stuck right here. I find that I am not sure what should go on in my heart and head. I have been focused on how I should live, what I should do to please God, and not what life looks like living in relationship with God.

In many ways, what activities a person is involved in probably do not change. Motivations and attitudes probably do change. And I could really believe that fruit would change.

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