John 15 has been one of my favorite passages for a long time. God continues to bring deeper application for my life every time I read it. The other day was no exception. Here’s what it says:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. … If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. (John 15:5-10)
I can imagine that Jesus spoke these words to His disciples as they walked past a vineyard. It seems as if He often used what was right around them to make spiritual truths sink in to their hearts. This got me thinking about what the modern-day equivalent might be. If Jesus were walking through town with us, through a store, or our work place, or perhaps our homes, what might He say instead of that He is the Vine and we are the branches?
Many ideas went through my mind, but the best correlation came perhaps because many of us at church have gotten new laptops recently. While my old computer had MANY issues, one that was becoming more and more annoying was how long (or rather how short) the battery would last. Some of us on staff could only get a few minutes before needing to make sure we were connected to a power source; we’ve been amazed lately at how long the batteries last on our new computers in comparison.
That got me thinking that perhaps Jesus might say that we are the laptops and HE is the power source.
When we are abiding in the power source, we can function properly. As with a laptop, we might me be able to run for a while away from the source and if we’re in good condition, like our new laptops, we might be able to run a little while longer. But the truth is, a laptop was designed to be connected to a power source. So are we. The computer can do nothing apart from it… nothing! But it can do ALL it was created to when it remains connected. We can do nothing apart from God, but can bear much fruit when we remain in His love and grace.
We were created to receive power from the Source, our Creator. To look to anything or anyone else is like running off battery power. Some of the places we look to fill us up last longer than others, but eventually they fail. Only plugging into the source will do. Psalm 16:11 says
“In Your Presence is the fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.”
There are so many places I look for strength or joy or contentment that just don’t cut it. I turn to people and think they can fill me up. I turn to my work and try to gain approval or satisfaction there. I think that if my life were like this… or this… or this…. (fill in the blanks based on the day), THEN I’d be filled with joy. But, as I learn again and again and again, only in the Presence of my Creator do I find fulfillment, joy, and peace. And there, it is found unending.
Jesus, keep me connected… all day, every day… not just a “quiet time” in the morning and then going about my day. That’s like charging up my laptop and then deciding to try to work on battery power all day while the power cord and outlet are sitting right there waiting on the desk. Keep me connected all through the day…. rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:16-18). Help me abide in your unfailing love which gives me the power to bear fruit, to do all the things You’ve called me to in today. Keep me abiding Lord, keep me plugged in to your love and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!