The anointing He has placed within us can be dipped into the waters of life to turn the bitter waters sweet. Bitter rejection and disappointment is turned sweet when the Spirit of understanding floods our being. The bitterness of confusion, depression, or stagnation is sweetened as His counsel washes through us. The bitter effect of weakness, sickness, or emotional weariness is changed into strongholds of God’s victory when His Spirit of might empowers us. He is as sweet as He has ever been. It is we who are being changed and sweetened. We get sweeter as the days go by.
If we continue to drink the bitter waters of life, we will eventually find ourselves bitter people. But as we drink the sweet waters of His counsel, wisdom, and understanding, we will see victory over the works of the devil and find ourselves being sweetened.
In John 15:5 Jesus made this startling statement: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (NKJV). These words paint a most beautiful picture of our relationship with Jesus. Through simple faith, we allow the life of God to flow through us and bring forth fruit.
It is significant that Jesus was teaching His disciples about the vine in the final moments before His arrest. The band of officers, priests, and Pharisees were joining Judas at that very moment. Jesus’ ministry was coming to a point of vital change. He was the Branch that the prophets had spoken about. Soon He was to become the Vine to which many branches would cling. Instead of a single branch, there would be many. These branches would also become the vessels of God’s anointing as He had been.
The same Spirit which was upon the Branch is now on the branches. Jesus said, “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” (John 15:5 NKJV).
We are in Him, abiding in Him. We can bring forth the fruit of His anointing. To abide means “to wait expectantly, watching for and stand ready for something; to remain stable or constant in a relationship.”
To vacillate constantly — on, then off; up, then down — is not abiding. When we abide, we continue to seek God whether times are difficult or easy.
In John 15:6 comes Jesus’ warning to those who will not abide in Him. “If anyone does not abide 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” (NKJV).
When we cease to remain in a constant relationship with Him, we begin to wither. We actually cast ourselves away from God’s flow of life. When situations or weaknesses influence us more than God, we will be “burned.” People can burn us. Circumstances can burn us. Life can burn us.
If we do not give attention to where we are abiding, we will be burned. The flow of God’s life will be cut off. Our point of view will be changed and we will become fruitless and useless.