InPursuit

Divine Friendship {An Invitation}

divine-friendship

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,  unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

I’m reading through Trevor Hudson’s book, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship. In it, he shares, “Right where we are this moment, in the midst of whatever loneliness we may be facing, God meets us and holds out a hand of friendship. At the heart of the Christian faith lies an extravagant, grace-filled, and mind-blowing offer. God passionately longs to be friends with us. This is what Jesus, through his life, death, resurrection, and ascended presence throughout the universe, makes possible for every human being. All He asks is that we accept the offer of divine friendship,” (p.33).

I open my Bible and look for this invitation in John 15:1-8. I’ve read these verses over and over. I understand God’s calling me to be at one with Him, through Jesus Christ. However, I’m looking at verse four, in particular, with the understanding that God’s extending his friendship to me. He’s offering me more than just what comes after the harvest. He’s inviting me into a relationship in which He is my ultimate Source–one, in which, I’m able to continually draw the resources I need from the Vine.

He can produce fruit all on His own. I mean, He is God. And yet, He desires for me to be a part of that process. He desires me to be one with Him that I’d experience the flow of His supernatural resources, and that I’d be a part of the entire seed-to-fruit process.

He, the vinedresser. Jesus the vine. Me (you), part of the branches. And if we abide, the result is good, lasting fruit for His glory.

And so, I go ahead and work on the “Friendship Exercise” in this chapter, reflecting on John 15:1-8 and the intimate connection between the vine and the branches. For me, it looked a little something like this:

Remain with Me. Sojourn and tarry here. Do not depart, continue to be present, here, with Me. There’s much I want to share with you. Stop being distracted by all that’s circling round you. Center yourself in Me. Steady your heart and mind in me. 

Abide in Me. Learn the rhythm of rest. Be held and kept continually. Abide, that you might continue to be and not perish. Stay connected. In my grace and strength you’ll be able to suffer through the pain and difficulty, patiently enduring. You’ll learn to persevere. In spite of danger and hardship, because you’re connected to the Source, you’ll continue surviving. Against all odds and obstacles, you’ll live. Your spirit, your soul, your very being will remain alive.

Stay connected. Remain as one with Me, that you might not become another–different from the Darlene I intended you to be. 

Do not be deceived. I am the true Vine. There are imposters, those that promise to bring you growth and fulfillment. And yet, they’re unable to produce real and lasting fruit. Abide in me. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

I sit here with these words and hear the heart of Jesus pointing me to the heart of the Father. I feel His love and His friendship extended so beautifully and generously towards me. Somehow, I don’t want to stay connected to the vine because of fear I won’t produce. Rather, I want to remain connected because of the gift of the invitation and the beauty of the One who invites.

Go ahead, try it out. Sit with John 15:1-8 and allow the Lord to speak into your heart the wonderful invitation to Divine Friendship!

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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