Saturday, April 25, 2020
What are you Doing?
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
There are those who feel that they must be constantly laboring for the Lord in order to meet God's high standards. Jesus gave a clear picture of what our relationship to Him ought to be like. He is the vine, the source of our life. We are the branches, the place where fruit is produced. As we receive life from Christ, the natural, inevitable result is that fruit is produced in our lives. In our zeal to produce “results” for our Lord, we sometimes become so intent on fruit production that we neglect abiding in Christ. We may feel that “abiding” is not as productive or that it takes too much time away from our fruit production. Yet Jesus said that it is not our activity that produces fruit, it is our relationship with Him. Jesus gave an important warning to His disciples. He cautioned that if they ever attempted to live their Christian life apart from an intimate relationship with Him, they would discover that they ceased to produce any significant results. They might exert great effort for the kingdom of God, yet when they stopped to account for their lives, they would find only barrenness. One of the most dramatic acts Jesus ever performed was cursing a fig tree that had failed to produce fruit (Mark 11:14). Are you comfortable in abiding, or are you impatient to be engaged in activity? If you will remain steadfastly in fellowship with Jesus, a great harvest will be the natural by-product. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Have listened to my Pastor's mini-video's this week. Sort of ties in with this from Blackaby.
If indeed you are in Christ, how's it going? I can relate to the works driven approach that Blackaby is talking about. I can remember trying to be busy for the Lord but the relationship wasn't developing.
It isn't so much about doing things for Christ that matters as much as it is the relationship. He is the vine, those in Christ are the branches. He is the source of Spiritual life, without nourishment and everything that comes from the vine we ain't going to be doing a whole lot FOR Christ. We might be doing stuff 'in His Name". But oh my dear reader, be oh so sure of your having a relationship first.
In Revelation you can read it. Trillions of people will be saying to Jesus of them doing this in His Name and that in His Name...He says depart from Me, for I never knew you.
There was no relationship.
A friend in a part of his prayer says that he prays that the Spirit would empty him of him and let the Spirit do what needs done.
Do you? If indeed you say that you are in Christ, how is the relationship going? Do you spend time in prayer? Not reciting a grocery list of things you want and need, but just talking and listening to Jesus?
Do you set aside time to be reading the only book ever written that's alive? Do you sing songs in your heart to God? Is He really important to you? Not as an employer. You see that's the reality of those Jesus said to depart from Him. The reality of an employer-employee relationship is you get paid to do something you agreed to in exchange for being paid. You put on a face of obedience in some cases. You do what you are there for and you leave at the end of the day to go do other things. While on the job you put on a show for appearances sake. Be real. That's what it is. If you had the chance and the choice you likely would prefer to be somewhere else. Some may say they love their job. To be truthful, God showed me that I should never do that as a Christian. It puts that job before Him.
So do more with your relationship with Jesus. Introduce new ways to learn from Him. I had put it off for years but listening through the Bible was an awesome experience. You begin to visualize the Word. A true good use for your imagination. Try asking Godly men what they are reading. Where are they in their Bible. Are they using devotionals. If so, which ones?
I get it that it's inevitable that you must work to make a living. In Genesis that is part of the curse of sin on man. So yes as it says in Colossians 3 we should work hard for those in which we are employed as unto the Lord rather than man. But keep the priority right. It's as unto the Lord. Giving your best. Not wasting time. Not cutting corners.
But when you clock out...get back to the vine again in your Spiritual need. Grow that relationship. When I get out of my car in the morning to go in, I often am still praying. Often I say that last part of the opening verses we read today. Lord please go with me because apart from you I can do nothing.
This world has a whole lot of time on its hands. People getting restless because God removed most every idol, for a time, from man. But what are people doing with that time. What are you doing with that time? Idle minds are the devil's playground they say. Be intentional about time in the vine.
Be personal about your prayers. Ask Him to show you more of Him. Feed on what He WILL bring to you.
Remember the relationship has to come first or the work for Christ is in vain.
How do plants grow? By staying connected to the vine. How will you grow in Christ? Same way.