John 15:5 NIV “”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.”
It doesn’t get much simpler than that does it?
Yet time and time again it seems that some of us need to come back to the very basics, if we are indeed to have God’s continued guidance and presence in our lives, we need to make Jesus a part of everything that we do. And it’s not that it doesn’t make sense, it makes perfect sense, but what I do, far too often, is run ahead and leave Jesus behind.
But once you have experienced the presence of God in your life, once that communion takes root and grows, you can’t run ahead for very long without realizing that something is wrong. Sometimes the realization that something is wrong is subtle and sometimes you feel like you’ve just encountered a brick wall. It doesn’t really matter how you become aware of the break in communion, the important thing is that you recognize it for what it is and basically stop what you are doing and get back in communion.
I spend a fair amount of time reading and studying the Scriptures and it’s almost like you are in a jet stream when you are in God’s Word. His Word brings you along with it and His Word brings things to your mind, heart and spirit and prayer comes easily because God’s Spirit is doing His work. If you can recall how a connection to the Internet used to work, when we connected through our telephone modem dial-up, it’s similar to that. You’d have to take the time to go through the process in order to make and keep the connection.
I don’t want to give the impression that being in communion with God is a mechanic process because we are not dealing with inanimate electronic devices when we are communicating with God, He is real and very much alive and the whole point of entering into communion or connecting with God is to come to the realization that He is here, that He loves us and He has a plan for our life.
Hebrews 11:6 NIV says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Of course, if you never take the time to make the attempt to commune with God, the realization that He will commune with you won’t happen.
That’s what a lot of God’s creation does, denies Him, which makes communion with Him a non-starter. Actually that’s not totally true, I know when I first called out to God I wasn’t sure if in fact that He was there, so I asked Him to show Himself to me and of course He responded by having a young Christian sit down beside me (long story). So I’m pretty sure He doesn’t respond well to “NO” but “maybe” He sometimes responds to, at least in my particular case.
Revelation 3:20 NIV says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
I don’t deny God because I know better but what I infrequently unintentionally or intentionally do is ignore Him. That’s where I run ahead of Him, where I leave Him behind or remove myself from the yoke that He tells me I need to be in.
Matthew 11:29 NIV “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The yoke Jesus uses as an illustration of being joined to Him is likened to the yoke that binds two oxen together. He leads, we follow. Simplistic, sure, but Jesus used this illustration for a reason, He knows what we need and all we really need to do is realize and acknowledge that He knows better than we do and trust Him.
The minute we remove ourselves from that yoke, we place ourselves in jeopardy. You can read about this in the Old Testament with God’s chosen people Israel. It’s everywhere, being in communion, dropping out of communion, both from an individual and nationalistic perspective. It happened long ago and it still happens today, on both levels.
Our prayer time with God is vitally important, our time spent studying His Word is vitally important, on a daily basis. We need these quiet times, where we temporarily shut out the world and all of it’s concerns and just focus on Him, who He is, what He has done and what He promises He will do in us if we continue in our walk with Him.
Philippians 1:6 NIV reads “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
When you forget, like I sometimes do, when the rush and concerns of the day overtake you and you either consciously or unconsciously slide out from the yoke of Jesus, acknowledge it for what it is, a short coming and make it right. I always feel better after I have asked for God’s forgiveness for this frailty of mine. There is always ready acceptance waiting for me as I know deep inside that He understands that I sometimes drop my hand from His but I have realized it and I’m putting it back where it belongs. He never turns His hand away.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!