Have you ever been in a position where you wanted to intervene—you wanted to fix the problem, you wanted to save the day—but you couldn’t do anything? I’ve been in that position with some frequency and, as a recovering control-freak, that is a very trying place to be. Doing nothing can be one of the most disheartening options available to us.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (ESV)
Every time I’ve read this verse I’ve thought of it like this: every piece of fruit I produce is a direct result of God. In fact, all growth that I have is because I’m rooted in him. He is the one who causes me to grow; it’s in him and through him and for him that I do anything and everything.
But what if we looked at it a different way?
When a branch is connected to the tree, life flows from the roots to the branch. These nutrients cause the branch to grow and bear fruit and change. When the branch is not connected to the tree, not growing is now the only option on the table. And when growth doesn’t happen decay is the natural result.
Doing nothing becomes an option when we’re not connected to him.
When we are in Christ and connected to abundant life, we can’t help but grow. He heals and restores and corrects and changes those things about us that aren’t in line with his character. Through his word, we are able to spot parts of us that contradict who he is and godly community holds us accountable as we grow.
But when we’re not connected to him we aren’t confronted with our sins. We can easily begin to stagnate when we aren’t daily reminded of the unending love of God. We can grow apathetic and stuck in a rut because we aren’t connected to the source of grace and life.
Living things change.
The beautiful thing about this metaphor is that the branch doesn’t get to decide what type of fruit it bears or how much it bears because it’s entirely dependent on the root. We don’t have to try and force healing or growth. Instead, we can trust that life naturally comes as a result of being tapped into the source of all life. And, when we’re truly connected to him, the option of doing nothing is no longer on the table.
What fruit are you currently bearing?
How do you actively practice your faith daily? Weekly?
To go Deeper: Read The Eternal Current,
The Fruit of the Spirit Isn’t in the Produce Aisle, Death Spiral
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