Jesus says in John 15: 1-5 (NIV): I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
I am a doer. I often get restless if I stay in one place too long. "Remaining" feels like hard work! I would much rather be doing, moving, creating, fighting for a cause…..
If I am "doing" I know I have a purpose; I know I am propelling towards something worthwhile.
And yet, Jesus promises that I will bear fruit when I remain in Him. Somehow the slow, quiet process of remaining in Jesus generates good things beyond anything I could ever produce on my own.
Isn't bearing fruit my end goal? If I really think about it, isn't bearing fruit what I want my doing, moving, creating, and fighting-for-a-cause to result in? If so, then I must stop trying to do it all on my own.
What a privilege and gift! When I remain, Jesus does all the work and I get to be a bearer of things that last - like goodness, gentleness, and patience (yes please!!).
A while back I realized my "doer" mentality.
I came across these verses in John and the Holy Spirit wouldn't let me forget them. One way I like to process is through songwriting. I wrote a song that confessed my struggle to remain and my desire to push all distractions aside.

I wanted to reserve my "Hallelujahs" - my expressions of worship - for Jesus alone.
Here is the song I wrote. My hope is that it does not push you towards anything new to "do." In fact, I hope it can slow your "doing," settle you into remaining, and let Jesus do the rest of the work. He loves bearing fruit with you!


"Remain" – such an easy thing to say,
Not such an easy thing to do.
Oh God there are so many distractions
Pulling me away from You.
I need some sort of realignment,
Like an instrument in need of repair.
Finetune me so that the songs I sing
Are for You, and You only, to hear!

I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."
I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."
I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."

"Remain" – the absence of going astray.
The contentment of knowing I'm here to stay.
Like a branch growing from a vine,
Permanently and undeniably alive!
Surely this is how it's meant to be.
It must be the greatest irony.
That in all the world the only way
To really live is to just Remain.
I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."
I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."
I'm giving back to You, "Hallelujah."
"Remain" – It's not about what I say.
It's not about what I do.
Jesus, I just want to be….with….You

Luke Stanage

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