Many of us find it difficult to take that final leap of faith and affirm that it is Christ who lives in us after we came to Him. Too often our primary concern is the branch. And we fuss about the branch; all its weaknesses, its feebleness, faults and oddities. So we only see branch – ourselves. But, the branch is only the minor. It is the Vine that is the major. That’s how we must start out. The point is the Vine, and the branch is the Vine in its branch form. Regardless of what the branch thinks about itself the Vine continues to flow. The Vine doesn’t fuss about the branch. The branch is perfectly made to let the Vine operate in it as it and through it.
So we need to be Vine-minded and not branch-minded – to go from negative believing to positive believing. We simply affirm the Vine as us until one day the Vine comes back and confirms us. It is like sitting in a chair. We move over to the chair by faith affirming that it will hold us. But, when we sit down it is the chair which comes back and affirms us. It does what we thought it would do. But, we have to sit down first.
When affirmed we come back with a vengeance. When we finally see that we are replaced, that someone else is running the show we are free to be a branch with no worries. We even come to know that we are not two, we are one. I definitely live, yet, it is not I, it is Christ who lives in me. There are not two persons in there fighting for supremacy in us. We often think like that. But, there is Only one! It feels like me and it is me, yet it is not I, but He.
“Then I come back as a perfect free self. I do what I like, I think what I say. I make my own choices, follow my own motives, do my own will, with a huge wink. It isn’t I at all. It’s inside someone else operating. That’s my private thing.” (Norman Grubb)
It often helps to think that it was God who made us. And He did so in His likeness. The Devil didn’t make us. He just stole us for a short period of time and messed things up a bit. But, Jesus stole us back so we are now God’s assets, not liabilities. “We’re beautiful. We’re made in God’s image. Beautiful! So we begin to appreciate ourselves. There isn’t one thing about me that isn’t magnificent. Magnificent!” (Norman Grubb)
As long as we see separation – seeing double – that we somehow are separate persons – we are under conviction and condemnation. But when we move over that “hump” and say: “I’m not I, but Christ is me” we are free. Of course, we will face many a temptation trying to pull us back and temporarily we might fall back, but the Spirit pulls us back to Oneness so that each temptation works in us steadfastness, patience and perseverance to stand in faith as perfect branches spontaneously and efforlessly expressing the Vine.