One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is John 15. vs. 5 says “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.”
Yesterday, I was with my team walking through a local village, Mesaye (pronounced: mess-eye-aye). We were crossing the river and I turned around and saw this tree…and mainly saw the beauty of the strong roots. I grabbed my phone to take a picture because 1) I love trees and 2) it reminded me of this verse. Our group of interns here at Mission of Hope are memorizing different verses and passages, and John 15:5 is one of them. If I am not rooted in Christ, my time here is in vain. Apart from Christ, I can do nothing.
I am learning what this looks like, I certainly do not have it figured out. The Lord has been showing me how often I walk through the day concerned about how I am going to figure things out or how I am going to get things accomplished. So often, I am so blinded to how much I rely on myself.
He is teaching me to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6), and continually be feeding the Holy Spirit inside of me with the Truth of the Gospel. Galatians 5:16-26 explains the fruits of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” [if you were raised in church, you can probably recite them in a song and dance form.] Aside from the song, when I really dwell on each word and compare them with my heart and my actions, I realize my desperation for Jesus each and every day. The fruit of the Spirit is opposite of the fruit of the flesh. My sinful and fleshly reaction (the type of reaction I have when I am not walking with the Lord) is not patient, kind, or loving. The miracle that takes place within our hearts – the miracle that the Holy Spirit does – is He changes our hearts. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION.
Praise the Lord for that.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
When I think about the word renewal, I think about a process. Walking with the Lord is not something that happens from a single prayer, or through reading a book. Walking with the Lord is about acknowledging and submitting to the power of the Holy Spirit, being faithful to Him and spending time in His Word and learning His Truth. The Bible calls this “sanctification”. It is a process.
The more time I spend with the Lord, the more I realize my complete and utter desperation for Him.
Do not be discouraged. Keep seeking the Lord.
“Continue seeking Him with seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.”- C.S. Lewis