Christ as Life and Freedom
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.
Jesus, in His famous final discourse recorded in the book of John, reveals a startling and liberating truth. Jesus tells us that He acts as a vine in our lives, and we are similar to branches. The branch is not responsible for squeezing out fruit, rather it has the simple task of bearing it. It is the vine that supplies what is required for the fruit to blossom and the branch must simply carry the product.
When I was in the world I used to burden myself with trying to live in a way that would please those around me. Now don't get me wrong, I have always been a rebel of sorts, but even rebels have communities that hold to certain unspoken expectations. I, like all of us I would assume, would bend over backwards in order to ensure I was measuring up. We all have experienced this, for the world apart from Christ as a general rule doesn't typically value you for you, but for qualities, characteristics, and abilities that you can offer.
The beautiful and freeing truth found in Christ our Lover is that in Him we have absolutely nothing to prove. He is already enamored by us, and not because of anything within us, such as qualities, characteristics, or abilities, but simply because He loves us. For who we are, a part from anything we could do or offer. With Christ as my vine I need not kill myself trying to please God, for the kingdom is backwards all heck! God is already thoroughly pleased with me! Thus I am free to relax. In Christ He provides all I need and the fruit I bear is the result of my intimate union with Him, not the product of strict discipline.
Christ is the one we depend upon, the one we lean into, the one we follow, and ultimately the one we trust. We are therefore free from the fear of mucking everything up! Our failures are pardon from the beginning, Christ is our sustainer, provider, nurturer, therefore I am free to be, to simply exist, in whatever state I may find myself in from moment to moment.
My friends I encourage you to meditate on this verse today. Pray into it, seek for God to reveal to you personally what it would mean for you to take your place in His love as a humble vine, and respond by following in His guidance!