Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
I am completely enamored with my wireless Bluetooth headphones. They are the most useful of inventions, and in my humble opinion could easily be rated in the same category with air conditioning, remote controls and DVRs. I absolutely adore being able to talk on my phone or listen to music, books on tape, and podcasts with absolutely no cords attached to my phone. I don’t even have to be in the same room with my phone, but my headphones will still pick up whatever is happening on it. This frees up both my hands to focus on the task at hand whether that is cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, etc…
I remember the first time I tried to pair my wireless Bluetooth headphones with my phone. It was a little tricky. First I had to make sure the headphones were turned on, and then I had to configure my phone’s Bluetooth settings to find the headphones and actually link up with them. But the moment I joined them, the headphones actually spoke to me and said a simple, but glorious phrase, “You are now connected.”
Being connected is important. I could walk around all day with my headphones on, but if I’m not actually connected to my phone, it would be like I didn’t even have one. My headphones must have power that comes from being charged by the electrical cord, and they must be connected to my phone to be useful.
Our relationship with God is a lot like that. We are in Christ (he is the vine and we are the branches), but without that connection, we are rather useless. While we as believers can try to do things in our power and ability and succeed for a short time, we won’t have a significant impact in the kingdom of God, and we will wear ourselves out quickly. But contrast that with being connected to Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. When we follow the Holy Spirit’s nudges to speak or pray or go or do, we will have a huge impact because we are connected to Jesus Christ and fueled by his power. It’s that connection that makes all the difference.
Think About: Have you recently been trying to do something in your own strength and ability? What would it feel like if you gave that up to Jesus, letting him determine the details of how, when, and what you do. Would you be willing to only say yes to the tasks he has for you? Will you let the Holy Spirit be your power source, giving you the energy and ability to accomplish everything God has called you to?
Pray: Father, I am so thankful that my impact for your kingdom doesn’t depend solely on me. I officially quit trying to do things in my own strength. It’s exhausting and soul-killing and frustrating. Help me to do only the things that you have called me to. And thank you for empowering me for that work. Help me stay actively connected with you ALL the time.