Humility and Confidence…

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing…If  you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.  By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:5,7-8)

At first glance, part of Jesus’s  statement appears to be fairly radical: “ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you”?  Really?  It reminds me of the lyrics of that old song from Janice Joplin, “Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all have Porsches, I must make amends…” 

That certainly isn’t what Jesus is implying, that God is a heavenly “sugar daddy”!  There’s a pretty big qualifier to his pronouncement: if you remain in me and my words remain in you”.  In other words, if and only if I humbly live my entire life –  words, actions, efforts – in union with Jesus and his teachings, only then can I live in this confidence that my every prayer will be granted. Only then can I experience that his Spirit is, in actual fact, transforming me (little by little over time) to such an extent that my desires are slowly but steadily becoming more and more like his. Only then can I have the confidence that rests not on me and my understanding of what is best for me and those I love, but on the infinite love and mercy of my Heavenly Father, who delights to bless his children with good gifts.

Certainly, I am often mistaken about what, specifically, is the best and wisest way for him to answer my prayers. However, as I grow in trust and maturity over time, I can sense when my prayers are aligning better with his will. More and more, I grow in confidence that he will always do what is best (whether I know what to ask him for or not) and I can rest in that. His desire is for my life to exhibit the fruitfulness that is the mark of a true disciple. And that’s what I want also: to be truly humble and trusting, hopeful and confident in his goodness and wisdom, the “fruit” of my abiding in him. This is what brings glory to the Father and gladdens the Heart of Jesus.

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