Engrafted into the vine

I love this passage early on in the biblical vine conversation in Isaiah 5:1-5. It demonstrates God’s own faith-in-action plan for us to emulate. In preparation for a good harvest, the vine dresser chooses good ground or a healthy environment for the project. He then builds a fence around it to protect it from earthly predators. He gathers out the stones to give it optimum chance of agricultural success. He then plants the vine, the star of the show. After that he builds a tower, right in the middle. The tower distracts airborne creatures who would otherwise zero in on the vine.
And right away, without waiting for the end of the season or the sight of the expected harvest, he built a wine press to process that harvest.
This is the way to live faith.
Make all preparation, from beginning to end, and walk in the expected manifestation.
This is our God making ready for the realization of his own dream in our lives.
Our only job is to rest and flourish in the life he has already designed.
Let’s look at it some more.
Jesus restated the same process in John 15 when he said, “I am the true vine.” You see, the original vine spoken of in the Hebrew Scripture was the intended bearer of God’s standard, the nation of Israel.
But Jesus bottom lines it. I am the true vine. I’m the real thing. I am come to do what could not be done in any other way, through any other vessel. And my life is the lifeline for you to be likewise. I’m the true vine. My Father is the vine dresser. He’s the one with the original plan. He’s the one with all the right steps in all the right places with the original vision for the perfect outcome.
Imagine the vine. He says we are the branches. So in his Sonship, we are attached, as joint heirs, to the One who will usher us into eternal life, here on earth, and in the prepared hereafter of which he spoke to his disciples.
We are the branches. We are attached to the true vine. But the benefit is much more than physical life. The real benefit is that as we are attached and give permission, the life of the true vine then flows into the branches. The same life. The same essence. The same character. Just as grape vines produce grapes – the essence of the vine…just as apple trees produce apples…just as banana trees produce bananas – the true vine of God, God’s Son Jesus Christ, produces in these saved branches, the character of Jesus Christ.
We become as he is. We love as he loves. We grace as he graces. We dispense mercy as he is merciful.
The fruit of the spirit is the character of Jesus Christ. And it is that character that is produced in us as we remain in the true vine of God.
And all we have to do is remain. Remain. Abide. Relax.
Make ourselves at home in God’s love. This is the vine life:
Being able to rest in him; to allow him to move with his plan in our lives.
Being able to allow him to work out his vision for our lives even when we can’t see and even when it makes no sense.
Being able to walk in it, with grace, when each next step is sheer mystery.
Being able to wait for it – the “exceeding abundantly” thing that he does that we could not possibly have imagined with our finite minds, not even with our soul vision.

ripe grapes during daytime
Photo by Henri Guérin on Pexels.com

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