The Lord Jesus has done everything for us, and our need now is to rest confidently in Him. He is seated on the throne, so we are carried through in His strength. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that all true spiritual experience begins from rest. —Watchman Nee
Howard Hendricks once said, “I have never met a Christian who sat down and planned to live a mediocre life.” I believe that’s true. Shortly after entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our hearts and minds are filled with wonder, awe, and the expectation that we will be able to do great things for God.
Sometimes this lasts for a little while. Some people manage to keep it up for years. But sooner or later, we hit the wall. It might come through long slow burnout, or our lives might seem to explode in a catastrophic ball of flames. The problem? We were never designed to do great things for God. And though we may try and try again, the result is usually the same: Discouragement, despair, and even depression.
No, we were not designed to do it… not alone, that is. God’s gracious design is revealed throughout the New Testament, and Jesus gives us a powerful word picture of the design in John 15:
- Jesus is the true vine.
- The Father is the gardener.
- We are simply the branch between the vine and the fruit.
“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.” (John 15:4-5)
In a world that is driven by expectations, high standards, and the constant pressure to “do it ourselves,” these words are like a splash of cool water to a thirsty and tired soul. The vine shows us that true fruit comes through us, not from us, by resting, connecting, remaining, and responding in Jesus!
Dear Jesus, show me how to live a fruitful life in You! What a relief it is to be able to release the burden of trying and trying to live the Christian life on my own. I can see it now; I can rest in You today. In every situation I face, in each particular situation that comes my way, I trust in You to bear fruit through me. Amen.