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
The Lord has reminded me that I am not the vine — He is. For years I had tried to accomplish by myself what Jesus wanted to achieve through me. My desire was to impress God and earn His approval. His goal, on the other hand, was for me simply to abide.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to live the life of Christ through us. This is known by a variety of names, including the exchanged life, the Spirit-filled life, and the abiding life. All of these describe the joyful existence Paul spoke of in Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.”
Seen from the outside, a branch does not appear to be doing anything. But that doesn’t mean that the abiding life is passive. Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-filled life, and He certainly didn’t sit around! He worked hard out of a reservoir of divine energy (John 8:28). All of Christ’s wisdom, knowledge, and courage was drawn from God through the Holy Spirit.
Christians bear fruit through surrender. We “take root” in the Lord by meditating on His Word, praying, and serving. We reserve nothing for ourselves to control but fully rely upon Him. That’s not passive living; it’s an abiding life.
Think and pray
Is your spiritual life marked by activity, self-restraint and personal disciplines? Are you doing your best to live a life pleasing to God, or are you allowing Him to life His life through you? True service to God is spelled S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R.
Father, I confess that I tend to live in my own strength. Help me today to see things with Your eyes and be yielded to Your Spirit. Work in and through me for Your glory and for others’ good. Amen.
In Touch Ministries is the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley and is dedicated to leading people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthening the local church. This post first appeared on intouch.org. Used with permission.