This has been a rough week for me. I feel like as I get older, I get busier and busier and more run down. Life takes over and I get so caught up in the things of this world that I start to lose sight of what is really important: following Jesus and loving others. When we lose sight of what is really important, God will bring this to our attention, and often it is painful. Sometimes He will use a tragic event to remind us of what is really important and set us back on track. I think that the reason we get so caught up in the things of this world is because we are trained to believe that THINGS are so important and will fulfill our desires. So many things in this world attempt to offer true satisfaction, but they always fall short!
This week at Awakening, Ryan discussed the passage in John where Jesus reveals to His disciples that He is life and that there is only one thing that they must do in this life: remain in Him.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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.” – John 15:1-4
Jesus is saying that we must remain in Him (follow Him and have a relationship with Him) so that we may have a fruitful and meaningful life. He also explains how God does some things for our good that are painful. He prunes things in our lives to help us go down the right path to following Him. These may even be good things like church events, small group outings, or Bible studies. But when we overload ourselves and commit to everything, we take away from what really matters: spending personal time with God. We can still be involved in these activities and works of God, but there needs to be a good balance between doing the work of God and spending quality time with God. If we know God intimately and if are abiding in Him, our works will reflect His desires and give Him the most glory.
God’s purpose for us is loving, and His will for our lives is rewarding. The process can be difficult and may hurt. But when God does things that are painful for our good, the reward is worth the pain. He is training us for greater things and taking away the things in our lives that are hindering our relationship with Him. We need to stay intimately connected to Christ so that He may work deeply in us and greatly through us!
I challenge you this week to ask yourself one question: Is there any part of your life that is disconnected from God? Work? School? A relationship? Finances? If the answer is yes, give it to God! He is more powerful than any situation in your life. He wants the best for you, and if you remain in Him and give him control of your life, you will reap the joyous benefits of being a son or daughter of the Father of heaven.
Author: Laura Watkins