I Am The Vine
I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.
One night there was to be a big meeting in the mission and my friend was due to come with me and take part. At six o’clock he sent to say that he was unable to come and I knew that I had depended more on him than on the Holy Spirit. Could I go back and ask him for his help when I had been depending more on my friend? During the two-mile walk to the mission I said to the Holy Spirit, ‘I shall never let that happen again, and as a proof of my repentance, if you will come with me to this meeting, whatever you ask of me, when I come back this way, I will vow to you, like Jephtha, that I will give it to you tonight.’ If ever the Lord was with me it was that night in the meeting, and as I was walking back I said, ‘If there is anything in my life, or any position you want me to come to, I will give that to you tonight.’ He said, ‘There is a position I would like you to come to–to be a steward and not an owner of your money after tonight. You will only be able to give again as I tell you, because the money will be mine. Give the claim on your money to me.’ I said, ‘But my money is yours now.’ He said, ‘Yes, but when you want to give a gift you can give it; but now I want you to give up the ownership of your money to me.’ I had had such joy in giving, and I had lived in that joy for two years. Now he was going to take that away from me. Since he had made that change in my nature I had lived only to give, and the joy of the people I helped followed me. He said, ‘After tonight you are not to give to anyone unless I tell you, and you are not to spend one penny except on necessities and essentials. The world is my parish and while there is one person without the necessities of life you are not to spend one penny on anything else.’ I was earning money at the time and sacrificing in food and so on, but from that time I was only to give again as he would tell me. There and then I knelt down and called the stars and the Cloud of Witnesses to witness that henceforth I would not spend one penny except on necessities and essentials. At once the enemy said, ‘Do you know what you have done? You are worse off than the people in Swansea prison.’ I said, ‘Yes, but I have done it by choice.’ As soon as I said it, the whole heaven seemed to be illuminated, and the Holy Spirit said, ‘Let me tell you what you have done. Tonight I have grafted you into the vine and you have become a branch in the vine.’ It is not the branch that gets the fruit but the needy, and the vine can only produce the fruit through the branch. I saw myself as the medium between the Risen Lord and the world. The Saviour is in heaven and he can only give to the world through the sons of men. The realisation of it was almost unbearable. I became as dead to money as is a dead man and not once has God ever told me that I wasted his money. It was not that I learned to be content; no, I did not want it. I went out of the world where money was current. Could God have opened his treasury to a clearer channel to run his resources through?