Focus: Finding that Christ really is ‘enough’
John 15:5 (NKJV) (Jesus said) I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
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Maybe you’ve had the experience of pouring all your time and attention into a person, only to come to the realization that no matter how much of yourself you invested into that person, the feeling wasn’t mutual. There was something missing. It’s possible you were hoping that by giving of yourself—the other person would reciprocate in some way, or at least show some kind of appreciation.
As human beings, we spend so much of our time, attention, and energy on relationships. How we get along with people seems to have everything to do with our happiness, our peace of mind, our hope, our motivation, how we think, what plans we make…but, should it really be that way? Should ‘people’ be the reason we live and move and have our being? If our life is structured completely around people—no wonder we become depressed and dependent.
By design, God meant for us to draw our satisfaction completely from Him. It was His plan that everything in our life would be an ‘off shoot’ of our relationship with Him. Yet, it’s so common for us to get things turned around. So often, we make our plans without giving much thought toward whether we want what God wants. The really strange thing is how many times we can repeat the process and still not realize that we have it all wrong.
When Christ is the source of our happiness, peace of mind, our hope, our motivation, how we think, what plans we make—everything takes on a different perspective. He says, “Apart from Me—or without Me, you can do nothing.” So, no wonder we feel empty after we’ve poured so much of ourselves into a person or a project when the true motivation was not from Christ. We are left at the end of our efforts with a hollow feeling of disappointment that might even cause us to question our life and purpose.
John 15:5 has a lot of truth for us, if we want to take the time to see it. That hollow feeling of disappointment doesn’t come up when you are living out your purpose because you are one of the branches connected to the vine. That lonely, isolated feeling just doesn’t exist when you embrace the knowledge that you are part of a huge, living being. You are one of many branches—not some lone ranger out there on your own. You are connected to a source of life that will never die. Your energy and sustenance will never give out when it’s coming from God and not from you. God Himself, in the form of Jesus Christ is the vine you are growing out of—and you are not the only branch.
When we live our life embracing the truth—that everything we are and ever will be comes from Him and is for Him—we live with the knowledge that our life definitely does have purpose and we will most certainly produce meaningful fruit.
Everyday takes on a different tone when we think of it as a new ‘mission’. Our existence becomes a lot more interesting when we live in constant fascination of what the Branch Manager is going to instruct us to do next.
When we see our relationships as ‘assignments’ from God—it’s a lot less crushing when we don’t get recognition or praise from people for our efforts. In fact, we can delight in just the opposite. Our reward is in heaven.
God sees each and every act we do—and He is the One who will give us our reward. In fact, we should never expect to get credit from people for something we did for Christ—that is, if it was truly Christ we were doing it for…
Declaration: I will find new strength by gaining a better understanding of my role as one of the many branches connected to the One True Vine.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.