By nature, I am an independent person, tending towards pushing ahead and getting things done by relying on my own capabilities and resources. Jesus constantly has to remind me that ‘Apart from Him, I can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
Nothing. Not some things. Nothing.
Nothing of eternal value; nothing that truly matters can be achieved independent of Jesus. A life of mature fruitfulness can only grow out of being fully dependent on Him.
Dependence. The dictionary describes it as the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like. It can be a humbling thing, a terrifying thing even, to be faced with the inadequacies of our own resources and abilities. But it can also be a beautiful thing.
Twelve times in John 15, Jesus uses the ‘abide’ or ‘remain’, commanding us to abide in Him and in His love, and to allow Him and His Word to abide in us. The word He used meant to sojourn or tarry; not to depart but to be held, kept, continually; to remain as one, not to become another or different, to wait. Dependence is not a restriction upon us, but an invitation to intimacy—an invitation to linger in His presence and allow Him to keep and sustain us.
And if we do this, He promises us we will bear much fruit. Independence is the ground of barrenness but dependence is the soil of fruitfulness.
When I find myself grinding to a halt and all my efforts seem futile; when I find myself feeling spent and empty and my joy is lacking, I have to ask myself this simple question: Am I abiding in Christ?
Let’s start this week with Him and not independent of Him. Let’s linger in His presence and wait for His instruction, trusting Him to grow something beautiful in our lives. Let's choose the beauty of abiding.
Weekly nuggets of inspiration, Monday Musings are short Scripture-based thoughts to encourage you to draw close to God and pursue His purposes throughout the week. Subscribe to get them direct to your inbox here.