Independent. Responsible. Organized. Smart.
While these aren’t the words I pray describe me most, they are a few I have heard repeated throughout my life as ways people might describe me. They are definitely not negative and I guess sound great on a job application. However the reality of these words has sometimes made it hard for me to work well in God’s economy.
God has had to teach me many times what it means to give up my self-reliant, independent, I-can-do-anything spirit in order to bring about the characteristics He wants to use in His kingdom: compassion, humility, service, complete dependence on Him.
I mentioned yesterday the fact that I’ve been trying to memorize John 15, and this is one of the reasons. This passage reminds me of my complete and desperate need to depend on God every moment of every day.
Phrases like “apart from me you can do nothing”(vs 5) or “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you” (vs 4) or “you did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you” (vs 16) don’t leave much room for “I can do this on my own.”
The truth is I NEED to be connected to the Vine! I need the heavenly nutrients provided there. I need his wisdom and grace, his guidance and leading, his comfort and peace. I need Jesus.
As much as we hate this phrase in our culture, the reality is that I am a very needy person, and so are you. Being self-reliant gets us nowhere fast. When we disconnect ourselves from the Vine we find ourselves aimlessly wandering and wondering why we don’t see any fruit in our lives. Let’s give up that self-reliance today. Let’s DEPEND on our Vine, Jesus… He will come through for us!
Jesus, our Vine, teach us to give up our self-reliant spirits and rely on You. Teach us to abide in your love and bear much fruit as Your disciples. We praise You for the heavenly nutrients provided daily as we remain in You. In Your Name we pray, Amen!