“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
I was looking out my back window at my pathetic espallied fruit trees today and once again contemplating whether I should give up and cut them down and use the upright poles between them to support a grape vine. (I should have looked up apple tree diseases before purchasing apple trees prone to Apple Cedar Rust Disease for a house on Cedar Road.)
The thought of grape vines always brings this verse to mind. Then my devotion today had the same verse. For some reason the word “WILL” jumped out for the first time in a long time. Almost every passage in the Bible is conditional in one way or another and this verse is blatant. IF you do this, this will happen. “If you remain in me, and I in you . . .”
I’m in a season of feeling pretty useless, what with my body being in rebellion mode. The more my body rebels, the less I accomplish, the more I’m forced to analyse the importance of my activities, physical, mental and spiritual.
I’m not happy about my rebellious body, but I’m grateful. I want to be fruitful. I don’t have what it takes physically, but guess what? That isn’t a condition! All I have to do is stick even closer to my maker, and draw the strength to produce fruit from him.
Not a bad trade off for a younger body and distracted lifestyle.
You’ve all tried these machines ~ or worse yet, had the lovely experience of watching your child come to grips with the odds of winning a prize out of these rigged monsters of greed.
Relying on God’s promises isn’t a crap-shoot ~ it’s faith.
There is no risk involved in faith. It feels that way ~ it’s a scary thing letting go of our own self-reliance and trusting God.
“Stepping out in faith” feels like it carries the same odds as playing one of these games (invented by the devil himself, I’m quite sure.)
Here’s what’s at the heart of faith ~ faith is the opposite of trusting in ourselves. The reason the world at large has such a huge problem with faith is that faith is the crucial issue of our existence. Are we going to trust in a being we can’t see to have all the answers to the problems that are bigger than we? There is too much we can’t solve, too many unanswered questions, too much everything.
And yet, we all–believers and unbelievers, innately turn first to self-reliance. While all along there are answers and promises and instructions for all aspects of life the second we let go of self-reliance and simply refuse to play the losing game.
What is this architect thinking? Can you see the odd-shaped hole in the roof, and the cut-out down through the three floors? And what’s with that missing corner of the roof on the back side?
God Glimpse! God is my architect. Those are his plans, his blocks and stones, his mortar, his shingles. It’s not my place to wonder why there’s a hole in my roof letting in the rain. It’s my job to stand in place, trust him, and prepare myself to shelter those who come to see what God has done with me.
Looking for a sign from above? Driving into the setting sun for two hours straight made me nearly blind. When that large sign showed up, a silhouette against the sunbeams streaming from storm clouds headed my way, I realized the lesson to be learned. Even though the road was straight, and the sign enormous, it was pointless for me to rely on myself or signs. Only the illumination of God Himself will give light.