Derek Prince - It's Not About Struggling But Yielding
This excerpt is from: The Holy Spirit As Guide
All right. So, let’s try and sort of make it clear what we’re talking about. God’s way of righteousness and holiness is not struggling but yielding. Did you get that, I’ll say it again. Not struggling but yielding. Yielding to the Holy Spirit. Come to the end of your efforts and say, Holy Spirit, take over. I can’t handle this situation But you can. It doesn’t mean you don’t need willpower. What it means is you’ve got to use your willpower differently. You’ve got to use your willpower not to try to do it yourself. I’m a very independent, strong-minded person. My natural instinct is any time I have a problem, I’ll think of the solution.
It’s taken me years to come to the place where I don’t do that. I say, Lord, what is your solution? And very often it’s very different from anything I would ever have thought of. The Christian life is not a life of struggle, it’s a life of yielding to the Holy Spirit within us. And then it’s not effort but union. You see what we talked about from Romans 7 at the beginning? The question is what are you married to? If you’re married to your fleshly nature you’ll bring forth the works of the flesh. You can struggle as much as you like but this is a biological law. But, if through the Holy Spirit you’re united with the resurrected Christ through that union you’ll bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. Do you understand?
Let me say that again. Not struggling but yielding. Would you say that? Not struggling but yielding. Not effort but union. Not effort but union. Let’s look in John 15 for a moment. This is the parable of the vine and the branches. Jesus is speaking, we’ll just look at three verses. Verse 1: I am the true vine, my Father is the vinedresser. Do you have vines in this part of the world? Probably not. But anyhow, they’re a fruit bearing tree that needs very careful pruning. If you don’t prune a vine at the right time of the year in the right way it ceases to bring forth grapes. And so Jesus said I am the vine, my Father is the one who does the pruning.
And then He goes on to say in verses 4 and 5 to His disciples: 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. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. Now, a vine does not bear grapes with a lot of effort. It doesn’t make resolutions and say now I’m going to bring forth grapes. That’s not the way it happens. How does it happen? It’s united to the trunk, to the stock of the vine. And the same life that’s in the trunk flows through the branches in the sap, and the life in the branches brings forth the appropriate kind of fruit. Jesus said I am the vine, you are the branches. If you will remain related to me in me, joined to me, you’ll bring forth much fruit.
And then He gave us a warning which is very important. He said but you’ve got to expect to be pruned. You see, there’s some Christians who have problems because they’re not bearing much fruit. There are other Christians who have problems because they’re bearing fruit. And Jesus said every branch in me that bears fruit my Father is going to prune it. If you’ve ever seen a vine pruned, it’s ruthless. They cut back the branches right back to the stem. You think that thing is never going to bear fruit again. But next year it’s more fruitful. Some of you are struggling with things that are your fault but many of you are struggling with things that are the results of bearing fruit; the Father is pruning you.
Don’t give up. Don’t say why should this happen to me, I’ve sincerely tried to serve the Lord, I’m really doing my best and I’ve done this, this and this. That's why it's happened. You’ve borne fruit, now you’re going to be purged. Can you take a sigh of relief and say praise God? Praise God! It’s a good sign, see? But the message I want to bring out is it’s not effort. All your effort won’t do it. No effort will produce one grape in a thousand years. It’s what? It’s union. See, there’s a beautiful parable there, I’ve been talking about the Godhead: the Father, the Son and the Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead are in that. The Father is the vine dresser, Jesus is the vine and the Holy Spirit is the sap that flows up through the vine and into the branches. And that’s what brings forth fruit, the fruit of the Spirit. Not the fruit of our best efforts, not the fruit of religion but the fruit of the Spirit.