Recently, my family spent the majority of our day in the car. The trip took all the gas we had, literally and figuratively. The quarters were tight. The road was long. Emotions were happy and sad…in a matter of minutes. The enticing snacks would soon prove to be boring while the DVD player skipped on…
With some of the frustrating elements taking our attention, it was almost too easy to be distracted from the beautiful sunshine and extended family time. The full tank of gas that we started our trip with, decreased with the miles…
Our gas tank was nearing empty as our hearts were also crying out to be filled.
When our days are filled to the brim, we often find ourselves on empty. It’s easy to try to keep going on our own without pausing long enough to remember the Lord is our life. Our very breath.
We sell the Lord short when we simply claim that He keeps us going. He does not just sustain us. He is our life. He holds us together.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
My car says that it can go approximately 60 miles once it has sounded the empty warning beep. Sometimes we behave like that as well. Even when we know we are empty, we keep driving. We keep making decisions. We keep trying to be our own life.
So. If we know this is our tendency, what do we do? How do we admit when we are on empty and become filled again?
The Lord shows us in John 15 how this will work the very best for us.
1. Apart from the Vine (God) we can do nothing.
“Remain in me, as I also 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 you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” vs. 4-5
Like the old counseling cliché, “admission is the first step to recovery,” we need to admit that we need the Lord. Unless we start by trusting in the “Vine,” we will not be able to move forward.
2. In order to remain and abide, you have to obey.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” vs. 9-10
Once you choose to trust, you must also choose to obey!
3. You have been chosen.
“ You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” vs. 16
The fruit that you bear on your own will be fake and short-lived. People will test you, and you will come up empty. You cannot keep driving on empty. When you are abiding in the Lord, WHO CHOSE YOU, your fruit will last. Your fruit will last because He created it. It is not of your own doing, and therefore, your joy will finally be complete.
When your joy is complete, you can keep going. You can keep serving. You can keep trusting. When you are abiding in the Lord, He is filling you with Himself and in Him all things hold together. Including yourself. Your loved ones. Even your hardest moments will be redeemed.
Abiding. It truly is all that He promises.