Sunday, February 21, 2016
John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me."
Good works without power. Activity with no purpose. Dried up. Becoming like the withered branch that has been cast away from the life giving sap of the vine. This is why being connected to the Vine is absolutly vital. Without it we dry up, loose power and effectiveness. We forget why we are doing what we are doing.
But sometimes when I feel dry inside I get frustrated by lack of results. I'm hard on myself. I feel guilty. "WHERE'S THE FRUIT?" I ask myself in desperation. It is then my temptation to frantically begin looking for fruit to tape and glue onto my tree because 'Christians shouldn't be acting like you are.'
But all he asks me to do is abide. I'm skipping the most necassary and vital of all the steps. Because he just wants me to abide with him. And when I stop every other thing and abide with him, the result is not some fabricated fruit that I can make myself. It is instaed beautiful fruit that is not forced and is real and is life-giving to all who partake.
He only asks that I abide. And abiding looks a lot like resting and remaining and waiting. It's allowing his Word to permeate my mind and listening to his voice speak. Its sitting in his presence and dwelling. And it is to beccome this natural input output system, He gives life and I give it away, and he gives again.
"Abide in his love..." I must open the doors and windows of my heart to his love. I must allow the eyes of my heart be opened to the awesome and beautiful character of my God who steadfastly loves. I must open my ears to hear what his gentle voice says to my heart.
This is abiding. It is allowing God to change. Not forcing the change myself.
"The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect one. While he looks at Christ the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working within him to will and to do." (A.W. Tozer "The Pursuit of God")
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken." (Psalms 62:8-9)