Monday, July 11, 2011

The Arbor Edition: More on Roots and Branches

I remember being a teenager in Sunday School or at church camp and having the option to choose what I wanted to hear about. About 90% of the time I chose something like “How Do I Know God’s Will for My Life” (the 10% was “Boys: How Do I Know God’s Will for Them in My Life (just kidding)). I also recall one of the verses they would use is “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Um, OK?? But how do I know what college I’m supposed to choose? Another one was something about Jesus being a vine and me, the branches.

Lately, God has been revealing to me how those verses apply to knowing what He wants me to do in my everyday life and how I’m to make decisions. The answer I’ve found is not in looking for an answer, but simply looking for Him.

God doesn’t just want us to seek Him for the answers. He wants us to seek Him for life. I never know His will more clearly than when I am focused on chasing and seeking Him. Very easily, I usually become obsessed with hearing what He wants me to do, so much so that His answers become idols. Don’t get me wrong, it is soooo important to seek out what He wants for my life and your life. I just have to be careful about how I go about it and how I see it. When seeking answers becomes an idol is when that is all I come to Him for. I don’t acknowledge He is the creator of the universe. I don’t acknowledge I would shrivel up and die without Him. I don’t acknowledge He is the one granting me the next breath I take. All I want is for Him to tell me what to do so I can go about on my merry way and make it happen because I want my life to be good and blessed. Does that make sense? The attitude is all wrong. I am not in love with God. I am in love with what God can do for me.

So instead, I need to plug in, be rooted in Him for my nourishment, for life, for growth. Just focus on Him. More often than not, in those moments when I acknowledge He is all I need and desire, He gives me clear direction. If I wasn’t aware of that and He revealed His will, most likely, I would be doing it out of selfish ambition, become insecure because I’m doing it in my own strength, and fall flat on my face. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5. See, Jesus had to say it twice within 30 seconds. Apart from Him, we can’t do anything. But with Him, we get to see Him working. We get to see Him making old, broken things new. We get to see Him heal what was sick, give life to the dead, give strength to the weak. We see Him enable us to do impossible things.

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