“I am the vine, you are the branches…” John 15:5a
There’s a lot of talk these days about individual identity. We hear phrases such as “true self” and “authentic self.” People are trying to figure out who they are in order to find their purpose in life. Well, today’s verse is the foundation for a believer’s identity and purpose. Are you living as your true self in Christ?
The relationship between a vine and its branches is vital. As each branch draws its life from the vine, it naturally takes on the vine’s qualities. In the same way, we are infused with all Christ has to offer. Jesus prayed to have this kind of unity with His followers, “even as You, Father are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us” (John 17:21). Understanding our unity with Christ helps us to find our identity in Christ.
However, our will must give way to His will, just as His will gave way to the Father’s will. It’s only through surrender that we can express the nature of Christ, which is a believer’s true self. But that doesn’t mean losing our individual identity. While every branch shares the nature of the vine, no two branches are the same. There’s freedom and fulfillment in using our individual gifts, personalities, and talents in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We also find our purpose through this living relationship with Christ. The purpose of a vine is to bear fruit, which we’ll talk about more in the next devotion. By saying He is the “true vine,” Jesus claims to be the only One qualified to bear fruit that’s pleasing and acceptable to the Father (v1). As such, He’s our source of strength and nourishment. This is so important because our tendency is to work for Jesus rather than trusting Him to work in us.
If our identity is tied to what we do, then we can suffer an identity crisis when our role changes. By remembering that our ultimate purpose is to produce spiritual fruit, we approach each role and season of life in complete surrender to God. Grasping this incredible truth transforms us from a life of performance to one of divine production. So, are you living as your true self in Christ? The best version of you comes by finding your identity in Him.