(Read John 15:1-8)
The quality of the fruit of the branch depends upon the quality of the life of the vine. Neither quality nor quantity is the product of the branch, for the branch merely receives what is produced by the vine. It is useless for the branch to struggle and strive to produce, for that is not its task. In fact however hard it may try, it will produce nothing. On the contrary it is the task of the vine to supply all the sap (life) needed; it is the task of the vine to produce the fruit at the end of the branch; it is the task of the branch to just abide quietly in utter dependence and obedience where it has been placed.
To walk with God in close fellowship is not only the secret of joy and growth; it is the condition of all acceptable service, and all real usefulness (fruit). The value of what we do depends very much upon what we are. And what we are depends upon where we abide. The most useful Christian is the one that abides habitually in the secret place of the Most High. It is from this abiding position that our Lord the Vine provides all that His branches will ever need for fruit-bearing. Straining and driving effort does not accomplish the work that God gives a man to do; we must partake of Christ so fully that He more than fills the life. It will then be not overwork but overflow of the Christ-Life within.
Initially, the Christian tends to work to bring forth fruit unto God. But that fruitless struggle of Romans Seven is designed to teach the branch the absolute necessity of abiding & resting in his position in the True Vine. To “abide” means to stand fast, to remain, to go on being; to reside. As we abide in and fellowship with the Vine, and thereby come to know Him more fully, the fruit of His Life is manifested in us. Fruit is not produced by making fruit an object, nor by thinking of fruit; it is the outcome of having the Lord Jesus as our Object. Our abiding-place is in the light and in the Holy of Holies. “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh…. let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Heb. 10:19-22).
Application: If you have not been abiding in Him, then stop whatever you are doing and turn back to making Christ your sole object of attention & focus. Repent before Him of anything and everything that has taken the first place in your heart – even Christian ministry. You have been baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27), like a branch into the Vine, abide therein by faith from now on.