The Vine and the Husbandman

I have a vine that has taken root in my flowerbed that is beyond a nuisance. It grows quickly, so quickly that it covered a rosemary bush in less than a week or two. Not only does it cover other plants, but it also wraps around it. Eventually, it begins to smother said plant. I have cut it and tried to pull it up by the roots, but it will not let loose of the ground and keeps coming back even after I cut it down. It is a bad vine with no fruit to show.

Sin gets in our life the same way. It takes root and tries to take over. When we fight it alone, if we fight it at all, we lose to its strength and pervasiveness. It grows faster than we can combat it. Just like I tried to fight the vine above, it keeps coming back. I’m not much of a match for this particular plant, but if I had a master gardener to help me who knew about how to kill weeds and promote good growth in other plants, then I might have a chance. In the same way, if we depend on our master gardener, our husbandman as it were, then we too can be victorious.

“15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:1-3)

When we let God, the Husbandman, cut out the weeds and the bad vines, then we as branches that are grafted into the True Vine (Jesus Christ) can flourish and produce fruit. He is the only one who can purge us of sin, once and for all. While we live on this earth, we will still have to combat sin, but it can never completely overtake us because the Husbandman is faithful to prune us so that we can remain fruitful. Sometimes the pruning is not fun, but it is necessary. God has to cut out the bad so that He can make room for what we need. He cuts back the weeds that would overwhelm us so that we can take nutrients from the sunlight. Then we can be thriving fruitful vines.

If you are in a pruning season, just remember that the Husbandman has our best interest at heart. We can trust Him to do what is best for us. Just remember that whatever He is cutting out is merely making room for something even better than we ever imagined. So, don’t lose heart because the best is yet to be.

Flowers or Fruit?

Have you ever bought something that looked good on the surface, but when you got it home and out of the box, it lacked substance? Have you ever ordered food that looked good, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover only to find out the book was nothing like what the cover portrayed? I think everyone has been fooled by appearances at some point in their lives. That is why God is more concerned with our soul, what is coming from our hearts, than he is about how we look.

Society is impressed by a busy schedule. I had a boss or two who were more concerned that employees looked busy than they were by the actual outcome of the work. So, even though all of the work assigned to me was done quickly and efficiently, they seemed to think I was lazy if I wasn’t constantly busy. Productivity seemed to have no bearing on the situation.

As Christians, we are meant to produce fruit through our connection to the vine, Jesus Christ. In John 15 it says he is the vine and we are the branches. If we have a solid connection to the vine, it does all of the work to produce the fruit, such as the fruit of the Spirit. God, the husbandman, works with the vine to produce fruit, so if the branches get trapped in the dirt and mud, He will pick it up, clean it off, and bring it back out into the sunlight. He will also prune the branches when they produce too many flowers or greenery and limited fruit because His goal is fruit production, and flowers block the branches from receiving the vital nutrients they need from the sun.

You see sometimes we get so caught up in being busy for God that we do everything except produce fruit. Flowers and greenery may be pretty and look good to the world, but God isn’t interested in appearances. He is interested in producing fruit. He will cut back the greenery and flowers until He gets the vine back into the sun and back into its real purpose of producing fruit.

Take a moment to take stock of what you are producing. Are you producing flowers or fruit? Are you doing what the world thinks you should, or are you doing what God says you should? Flowers look good, but the fruit that comes from God sustains life. Which one are you: fruit or flower?

#GoingBeyondSimulcast #PriscillaShirer




I have been working on a project that requires my work to meet a set standard. Randomly and unknown to me, I am sent validation samples. The goal is to match predetermined standards by at least 70%. All I need is a good solid C to pass and continue on. Every few days I am sent calibration testing which gives me samples and tests my ability to match the standard. It is used as a reminder of the standards, to keep them at the forefront of my mind while I work.

As Christians, we have a standard to live up to as well in the form of Jesus. Unlike the world, God requires a 100% match to His standard, the law, but since we couldn’t reach that He sent us Jesus to bridge the gap. However, that doesn’t exempt us from being called to the standard. While God doesn’t fire his children, so to speak, he does constantly instruct and correct us when we don’t follow the standard, His version of recalibration.

I also think it is helpful to take stock of our relationship with God without the need of correction to motivate us in the right direction. When you feel stuck or in a difficult place, sometimes you can feel like God is not listening or that your prayers are not being answered. In times like these it might help to ask yourself some questions. Beth Moore gave the following recalibration questions in a devotional I listened to recently:

  1. WHERE are you? (Genesis 3:9)
  2. WHO told you that? (Genesis 3:11)
  3. WHAT are you seeking? (John 1:38)
  4. WHY are you afraid? (Matthew 8:26)
  5. HOW much more? (Luke 11:13)

Take a moment to honestly answer these questions and you might find the answers to your situation. To be honest, I hate stopping to answer calibration samples, but it often helps me clear my head and get back on the right path. If I do it for work, how much more should I be willing to do it to make sure we have a solid relationship with God? As Beth Moore said in answer to the last question…so much more.



Who do you listen to?

Today I have been working on a project with a supervisor who kept giving advice in an apparent effort to help. The result was actually the opposite. It caused me to drop below a standard because I was listening too much to the warnings and not enough to what my gut was telling me. I second-guessed myself into a hole.

I realized I was listening to the wrong voice. David faced a similar issue when he came upon Goliath taunting the army of Israel. There were all these voices saying they couldn’t win and that the enemy was too strong, and they had begun to despair. They were listening to the wrong voices. David came along and declared that the battle was God’s; therefore, they could and would win if they stood up and fought the enemy. He engaged the enemy and with God’s help, he won…end of story. He listened to the right voice, and he gained the victory.

We are constantly facing battles in our lives, and we have to make decisions on an almost daily basis. The enemy constantly whispers that we cannot succeed, or even more often that we should take a “safer” path following the world’s idea of logical and practical. God’s ways are often illogical or even crazy by the world’s standards, but they always work they way He intended.

If God tells you to “cast out into the deep,” then push off and ignore the voices that cry for following the “safer” path, sticking to the harbor and what you have always known. The only voice that matters is that of God as He whispers to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us for good and not for evil, so we can trust Him to lead us in the right direction. Listen to His voice and you too will have the victory.

So, who are you listening to today?