God desires for us to bear much fruit. In fact, God has prepared good works for us to do in advance. His plan for our lives is to remain connected to Jesus so that we can stay connected to God’s purpose for us and not drift along toward Ezekieland…
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? 3 Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on? 4 And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything? 5 If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?
6 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. 7 I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord. 8 I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
At the time of Ezekiel, Israel was an example of what Jesus speaks about in John 15. In his famous ‘I am the vine’ discourse, Jesus taught that we must remain connected to him in order to live fruitful lives. When we go our own way, we are like branches which are withered and suitable only for firewood.
Ezekiel is instructed to pass on a similar message to Israel. They had become unfaithful to God, and therefore, their land would become desolate. They would not have godly use other than for firewood like a vine in the forest.
Take stock. Are you being faithful to God’s purpose for you? Are you staying connected to God through Jesus? How? If this is only childhood Sunday School talk to you, and you think that covers you, think again. When we rely on our history or lineage we resemble those arrogant religious leaders of Jesus’ time. They were self-righteous with no reason to be.
They were writing holy cheques with no spiritual cash in the bank.
Ezekiel is giving a warning, yet Jesus is giving a promise. Listen to both. If you would like to see the pointy end of the stick, read Ezekiel’s warning and ask God if that applies to you. Listen to Jesus, however, to understand God’s purpose for you.
God desires for us to bear much fruit in our world and for him. In Ephesians 2, we see that God has prepared good works for us to do in advance. He has a plan for our lives. The key is to remain connected to Jesus so that we can stay connected to God’s purpose for us.
Otherwise, we will drift along toward our own purposes, relying on our own devices into Ezekieland. Not a place I want to go.