I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will  ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:5-8

Most of my life, I have understood the fruit of the vine to be the good works we were created to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). Recently, someone suggested that it is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I am sure that both are true, as well as the interpretation I most recently heard.

Before I go there, I would like to recognize that an “either/or” perspective on Scripture limits our understanding. It also has a way of dividing the Body of Christ. I cannot tell you how many times a “both/and” approach has precipitated the Holy Spirit’s revelation and encouragement.

Now, let me direct your attention to the passage above. Read it carefully – particularly verses five and seven. Branches that bear fruit are those that abide in Christ. Those branches that thus abide, ask what they desire, and it is done for them. The fruit of the vine are the answers to our prayers.

Furthermore, we now understand that the measure of our abiding in Christ is answered prayer; and the fruit we bear are the answers to prayer that glorify the Father (v. 8). This leads us to two very important revelations.

First, the desires of our hearts are the seeds of the good works that glorify our Father in heaven (see Matthew 5:16). The discovery of those desires begins with our surrender as branches that can do nothing of ourselves – the “to be soft” of Psalm 37:4.

Secondly, once we have discovered the desires that God intends to give us, we must ask for them in accordance with His will (Psalm 37:5). It is a surprise to many that we can pray in such a way that our requests are affirmatively answered every time. We only need to ask what the Father wills.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1John 5:14-15

Lastly, we must recognize that it is not our place to tell the LORD God Almighty what His will should be (Isaiah 29:16; 64:8). Rather, we would be wise to consider His conditions:

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us  commandment. 1John 3:22-23

The parable of the vine and the branches is a call to abiding prayer: That we would discover the desires of our hearts; to ask for them in the Father’s will; that Jesus Christ would do them, through us, for His Father’s glory.

It is time we got back to prayer for the Father’s will and glory! Please let me know how I can help you with that.

Humbly yours and forever His,