Christ Covenant Church
Jon Marq Toombs
7 November 2016 / Ordinary Time
Notes from the Cutting Room Floor
ASK WHATEVER YOU DESIRE
Jesus teaches us in this parable that vine-branches have one massive responsibility and one massive privilege:
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will come to be for you.”
Our responsibility is to abide in Christ.
Our privilege is to ask Christ for whatever we desire.
Abide in Christ. Ask whatever you desire.
In context that does not mean ask for whatever is on your wish list. That means ask what you desire as a branch in union and communion with the Vine. Notice the conditions: if you abide in me (union) and if my words abide in you (communion), then ask whatever you desire.
As we grow deeper into Christ, our prayers and desires will be shaped by our abiding in Christ and by his word abiding in us.
So whatever else this privilege of asking entails, Jesus’ assumes that fruitful branches will ask the way the Vine asks, and desire what the vine desires, and seek what the vine seeks—namely, the glory of the Vinedresser.
Fruitless branches that do not abide in the Vine tend to pray for stuff and things that benefit themselves, and bring glory, praise, and honor to themselves: (God, let’s make a deal. Please do X,Y,Z for me. If you do that, I promise I will stop doing this, and start doing that. Amen.)
Fruitful branches that abide in Christ tend to pray for things that bring glory, praise, and honor to God, whether it benefits them directly or not. (Father, command what you will and will what you command. Do X,Y,Z to me, and through me, for me, and for your glory. Create in me the fruit of the Spirit, that I may be more like the Vine and less like the Viper. Amen.)
So ask whatever you desire and it will come to be for you. The Father will give you whatever you would have asked for if you knew everything he knew.*
* Based on a quote by Tim Keller