I got to meet Alan Wimbish when he was Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship in New Mexico. What a tremendous man of God! I love it when Alan sends us posts! He can really PREACH IT! ! One Sunday he went to FBC in Quemado, NM with me and Alan really hit a grand slam homer for GOD!
To Be Strong, Be Weak by Alan Wimbish
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abide in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4 ESV). I have heard it all my life and probably so have you. I have been told that in order to succeed in life you’ve got to be strong, self-reliant, etc. This is bad advice for the Christian. Jesus gives us an example of what a spirit filled and successful life looks like. It involves a simple object lesson…a vine and it’s branches. We’ve all seen a vine and notice how they grow. Specifically, Jesus is talking about a grape vine since this is something that His disciples would have been very familiar with. The vine is planted in the ground and trained to grow around a lattice of some kind. The vine will then begin to send out shoots or branches. These branches are what the fruit will grow on. The fruit is the ultimate goal of all of the farmer’s hard work. He tends to the vine with detailed precision looking for that final outcome….beautiful ripe fruit. The process of growing the fruit is very simple. The vine sends it’s sap and nutrients into the branch which will eventually and without fail produce fruit. It’s in the DNA of the branch to produce fruit. The branch does not do anything other than produce fruit. But it has to stay attached to the vine in order to do this. The branch draws all of its life and ability to produce fruit from the vine. The branch, however, cannot produce fruit on it’s own power. It has no power of its own. Everything that it produces, it’s life, and it’s well being on dependent on the vine and the husbandman (farmer). The husbandman lovingly tends to the vine; vine produces branches which subsequently produce fruit. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. We must be dependent on the Jesus to supply us with the faith, grace, and mercy we need for every waking minute of our day. This only comes from a close and abiding relationship and dependence on Jesus. The branch cannot say to itself, “Oh, I wish I was attached to that vine over there so that I could produce different fruit.” The branch cannot separate itself from the vine and say, “ I can produce my own fruit on my own strength.” The branch has no strength on it’s own. In order to be strong, produce spiritual fruit that is pleasing to our Heavenly father, we must be weak in ourselves. We must recognize that without Christ, we have nothing and that we should not expect peace and contentment in our lives until we seek after Christ and covet after His holiness. We must seek Him and His holiness as if our life depends on it. We must recognize, like that branch, that without Christ, we can do nothing….we are useless to Him. Jesus Himself gives us a great example of this in John 5:19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing” There is our example! Even Christ depended on the loving care and presence of the Father, the Vinedresser, and could do nothing without Him. If you want to be strong in Christ, be weak. Be weak in yourself and your own strength to try to please God. Be weak and say, “In me there dwells no good thing!” Abide, stay, rest in Christ and He will supply the very strength you need to produce spiritual fruit.
God Bless you Alan! We love you and Renee and the kids!