Please pray for the Spirit's Presence as you begin reading this Scripture: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15: 4-6 (NIV)
Today’s Scripture is one of those that really gets my attention, especially when I’m in certain seasons of my life. Periodically, I’ll try to “take over” and run my own life separate from God’s Will and direction, which of course is always a minor (sometimes major) disaster. It is in those times, when I think I have life all figured out, I rebel against God’s authority even though I know His way is right and good. It kind of reminds me of watching my nephew in his toddlerhood, trying to reach a cup floating in a full stock tank: What I saw as a little boy leaning too far over the edge, in danger of falling into the water, Ole saw as his independence, saying, “I do it by myself!” Thankfully, Ole’s mom and I were standing there and could grab his booted little foot and pull him out when the inevitable happened.
It’s so much the same with me: I’m leaning too far into my own “independence” and God is standing beside me telling me what I’m choosing is not a good idea. He won’t force me to do as He says, but He won’t leave me either. When I lose my balance and fall face first into the cold water, He grabs me and pulls me out, with me apologizing and asking forgiveness all the while. It’s then when I’m cold, shivering, ashamed that I remember how desperately I need to stay attached to my Father, as the branch to the vine. Independence doesn’t look nearly as seductive when I’m reminded that when I detach myself from my Lord, my life loses purpose. I was put here, in this very spot this very day to glorify God with every breath. When I stop doing that in favor of glorifying Jennifer, life gets very perilous, indeed. I’m safe and have purpose when I remember Who is the Vine and who is the branch; that is exactly how I choose to live today!
Lord, thank You for teaching us that our question isn’t “what is my purpose” but “Who is my purpose”. Without You we are in danger; with You we are safely attached to a Life source! It is only by staying connected to You that we are fully alive and have peace. Thank You, Father! May Your Name be glorified with every breath we breathe. In Jesus Name, Amen!