I finished my Peloton ride, proud that I worked out before breakfast. Sweating, I moved into my stretching routine still feeling pretty accomplished so early in the day. As I eased into a lunge, I suddenly and unexpectedly sensed God’s voice. He said to me, Margaret, I am the vine, you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I abide in you; you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
And that’s when I began to weep. God, apart from You I am completely lost. I need You in my life. I need Your speaking voice. I need Your holy presence, God. Otherwise, it’s all a mess- my marriage, my kids, my home, my business, my health, thoughts, attitudes, and mindset. You ARE the vine God. I am a little branch living through You!
All week I’d tried connecting with God and came up empty. I read my Bible, prayed, listened to podcasts and so on. But the entire time I felt distant and distracted, like a cloud blocked my view. Until He spoke that one verse to me, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In that moment it was all clear as day: apart from the Holy Spirit living dynamically through me, I can do nothing. Nada. Zero. But, actively connected with Christ, all things are possible!
If our natural tendency is toward distraction, what did Jesus mean when He said we must abide in Him? To abide is to dwell, make our home, live in, pitch our tent, cohabit. Abide also means to linger, stick around, to remain. Jesus, our wise teacher, Prophet, king, instructed His friends how to maintain a deep and personal relationship. Gazing out over the vineyards, He said, think of Me as the vine and you are one of the branches. Those connected to Me, making their home in me and, I in return, dwelling, remaining in them, will bear great fruit. But of course, you understand if a branch breaks off the vine it will wither and dry up. It will not bear beautiful life-giving fruit. Hear me: a branch disconnected from the vine simply will not produce life.
What is needing a God infusion in your life right now? Has your distraction only produced withered results? We all need fresh encounters with God. In every area of life, Jesus wants to bring supernatural provisions and solutions. But if we are not connected, abiding, dwelling IN Christ we miss those moments of counsel and comfort. We will not bear the fruit that is needed right now.
I check in often with God to see if I’m truly sustained by Him. How about you, my friend? If you struggle to know God deeply, get the book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. In Gracious Living, I’ve carefully described ways to understand what God is saying. I’ve included prayers that you can pray, along with Biblical declarations to proclaim aloud. The book and the declarations are on my website at www.MargaretAllen.org Join me in the Gracious Living journey; get connected to God!