“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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8 NIV
What does it look like to remain in God’s presence. How would my life look different if I stayed with Jesus and didn’t run off to do my own thing every five seconds? When I take a moment to think about my life, about who I want to be, I imagine doing great things, helping people in big ways. And I am often confident I can do all of it right now, in my timing, on my own strength. But Jesus’ words above are so clear and blunt. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Nothing. Even at my “best” I am not accomplishing anything outside of Jesus.
I find this humbling. And a bit overwhelming. But at the same time, there is a peace that comes with it. I can’t do anything on my own. I can’t save the world or encourage my neighbors without Jesus. Without the empowerment of His Spirit, I can’t do anything of value or significance. If I choose to remain in Jesus, there is no limit to the fruit I could be a part of. The God of the universe is wanting to do big things through me. He won’t bless me running off on my own to prove my own strength, but He will bless submission and dependence. When we abide in Him, when we bury ourselves in His will and choose to dwell there He promises to do whatever we ask in His name and pour out much fruit in and through us.
Will you lay down your own plans? Will you take a minute to surrender to Him and to begin remaining in Jesus? Ask Him to reveal the parts of your life where you are trying hard on your own to do mighty things. Let go. Reattach yourselves to His sweet vine of life. Spend sometime getting reconnected to the only one who brings fruit.