Continued from here.
As I shared in my last blog entry, accepting my complete dependence upon God does not come easily to me. My natural inclination is to do as much as I can by myself, but God wants me dependent upon Him in every aspect of my life. Once I fully accept that reality, then I will learn contentment as Paul learned it. Even though I know this in my head, I still have not fully digested this reality … to my own detriment.
Jesus used the metaphor of the true vine and branches to explain our dependency upon him. Jesus is the true vine, and we are the branches. If we will stay connected to him (by doing what he tells us to do), then we will bear much fruit.
Think about the importance of a vine to the branches that bear fruit. The nourishment that the branches need to bear fruit comes from the vine. If the branch separates itself from the vine, then it will wither and die. As long as the branches stay connected to the vine, they effortlessly produce fruit. However, all the effort in the world won’t make fruit grow on a branch that is disconnected from the vine because the needed nourishment isn’t available.
Why is our natural inclination to try to live a fruitful life apart from God? When you think about this logically through Jesus’ metaphor, it makes no sense, and yet that’s exactly what I try to do with the molehills in my life. I recognize that I cannot be fruitful with the mountains of life when I detach from the vine, but I continue to pull away from the vine when I encounter molehills. I see the folly of this in my head, but I’m still working on digesting this truth so it becomes a part of my character.
I have a choice, just as you do. We can stay connected to Jesus in every aspect of our lives and bear much fruit in both the big and small areas. Or we can detach parts of our lives from Jesus, put forth much effort, and fail to bear fruit. The choice seems obvious, so why is this so hard to do? I guess that’s why we need many trials to learn this difficult lesson.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace standing near a tumbleweed. Courtesy Bitmoji.]