Proceed At Your Own Risk – Day 3


“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.”

John 15:4

The wonderful thing about fruitfulness is that it requires dependence on and cooperation with God and listening to his commands. Jesus promises us that if we remain in him, he will remain in us. We don't need to strive to bear fruit: all we have to do is remain in our vine (him). That's it! We'll bear fruit by remaining in him, which is why God commands us to rest and reconnect with him. He's the answer to being fruitful, productive, effective and -- yes -- successful!

God calls us to be fruitful, yet we choose to be busy. The command isn't to be leafy but to be fruitful. Busyness is not always helpful to being fruitful; we want to hustle and be entrepreneurial. We think if we're busy, it means we're important. Rest doesn't come easy! But busyness without rest is connected to stress, and stressed out workers are not nearly as fruitful and productive as well-rested, happy workers. There's a saying that the devil doesn’t rest ... but God does! Even dirt rests: farmers know you can't sow seed in the same soil every season, or the soil will be robbed of nutrients and will no longer be fruitful. If even dirt needs rest, how much more do we?

How fruitful are you: how's your life? Your marriage? Your kids? Your personal happiness? If these questions are making you feel overwhelmed, anxious or like you want to busy yourself with something else to avoid answering, chances are you could use time to stop striving and start abiding. The great news is Jesus promised that if you'll remain in him, he'll remain in you. Our job is to remain: spend time with him. You can start small by taking some deep breaths and simply turning to him. Pray, surrender your anxiety, your problems, worries, relationships, finances, health and personal or heart issues to him. He doesn't ask us to work, work, work or solve, solve, solve. He asks us to remain in him. We can just BE connected to our vine, and he'll do all the fruit bearing. He starts inside of us. Remain in his presence: he already knows what you need, but maybe you need is to sit down and acknowledge to yourself what you need. Prayer is often more about your posture of submission as a first step. Then, keep remaining. If you don't know what's next, he does. Let his peace and all-knowing presence guide you to the things that will bear fruit in your life.