Staying Connected

Last spring, when I was walking back and forth to the church from my apartment, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful blossoms of this cherry tree that was growing along the way. It was a particularly windy spring, and after one bad storm, I discovered that the tree had gotten the worst of it.
It made me a little sad to see how, despite still having the blossoms on it, the tree was destined to die. It was disconnected from the roots, so it could no longer receive nourishment.

How often can this be true in our lives: we are connected to our Source of life and flourishing, but then, trials or difficulties, distractions or things of the world come in our life that pull us away from Him. We might hold on to our “blossoms,” our appearance of life, for a little while, but disconnected from Him, eventually they will fade away and die.

Of course, we cannot lose our salvation, our ultimate connection to our Saviour. Yet, we lose the abundant life that He desires each of us to have. Our life becomes meaningless and empty, if we are not abiding in Him.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”John 15:5
Do we remember that we cannot do anything without Him? One of the temptations we face is to try to bear fruit on our own. It is impossible. I walked past that same tree again this week, and that broken off part does not have a single flower on it. Just so, if we rely upon ourselves, our effort, our trying hard enough to live the Christian life, it will be a failure.

So how do we maintain a close connection to Christ, who is our life? How do we abide in Him?

Consistent, Quality Time in the Word of God

The Word of God is our spiritual food, and to stay healthy, we must be reading and studying it every day. It is the place we get to know our Lord, finding out who He is and what He wants us to do. It is our preparation for the battle against the winds of temptation that we will face in the day. It is our lamp and light to show us the way to walk. God intends for His Word to be practically applied to our daily life, and as we fill our mind with Scripture, it will keep us abiding in Him, connected to Him throughout our day.

Unceasing Prayer

Far too often, it is easy to relegate prayer to a set time in a set location, which, when finished, we continue through our day with hardly another conversation with the Lord, except maybe at mealtimes. But what if we talked with God like we would a friend that we were spending the day with? What if it was a continuing conversation so that no part of my day excluded Him from it? Prayer is not a list of formal phrases; it is supposed to be talking to a real, living Being. With a human relationship, someone we are particularly close to, we can talk for hours and feel like we never run out of things to talk about. Imagine if we got to that place with the Lord, that we never seemed to reach an end of wanting to talk to Him, that He was the first one we wanted to rush to tell about the good or the bad things happening in our life. The more we invest in conversations with the Lord, the more we will be abiding in Him.

Yielding Control to the Holy Spirit

One of the greatest hinderances to abiding in Christ is holding on to control in our lives. We want to be in charge, to choose what we will do and when we will do it. Abiding in Christ means that He is in charge. When we take control, it will only result in failure; when we yield control to Him, we bear fruit - specifically, the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. So long as we are unwilling to submit to Him, we will be able to “do nothing,” as John 15:5 says.

Do you want to live a fruitful, flourishing Christian life? This is God’s desire for each of us. The secret is in staying connected to your Vine, abiding in Him.


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Comments 5

  1. Excellent truth so perfectly pictured by God’s own hand in His creation. And needed by me, thank you!

  2. Good thoughts! It so easy to fall into thinking I can bear fruit for God without Him.

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