Abide in Me
By Danni Andrew
My friend has grape vines on the fence in the backyard of his Mom's house. The vines have completely intertwined with the fence and are literally all over the place. The grapes are beginning to die off and are in need of pruning.
As I was reading my devotions this morning I picked up a small devotional booklet and read a page before I picked up my regular devotional book. The passage in the small book was John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me." (NASB) I thought it was a good passage to start my day with. I set it down and began reading my regular devotional book. I had not gotten very far down the page when I read the scripture for the day. It was John 15:4. I stopped to read the small booklet again, and sure enough it was the same passage. God must be trying to tell me something.
My life has been like the grape vines on the backyard fence lately. Twisted, going every which way but the way it should be. God has been gently pruning my life. He has been getting rid of those things in my life which distract me and take away from the Joy of life in Jesus. Worry and stress have robbed me of my Joy in so many ways. The more time I spend worrying, the less I get done. The less I get done, the more stressed I get and the more I worry. My life has become twisted and unruly, just like the grape vines on my friends back fence.
In an attempt to get things done I have made a schedule. I created a list of things which must be done each day, and the time frame for them to be completed by. While being organized is a good thing it can distract me from what is most important. Spending time with Jesus in the word is more important than getting my schedule done. I have loosened the strings on my tight schedule. Now, I have a list of what needs to be done and am asking God to show me what HE wants me to get done today. It helps me to be more relaxed which in turn helps me to be more productive.
Control is one of the branches on my grapevine which needed to be pruned. I like to have control of things in my life, but I have a tendency to over control every area of my life. Unless I abide in Jesus and let Him have control, my life will be a mess. John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." NASB
What branch on your grapevine needs pruning? What is keeping you from experiencing the full joy Jesus has to offer you? He will gently prune those things in your life which are keeping you from experiencing His full joy. Abiding in Him means spending time with Him. Spending time with Jesus can only be good for you. What person, thing or habit are you holding onto that is stopping you from experiencing the full joy of what God has for you?
The more time I spend with Jesus the better my life is. When I open my day with Bible study, prayer and thanking God for what He has done for me, my problems get smaller and my work load gets lighter. When I let God tell me what He wants me to do today, the more "right" things I get done.. Only when I allow God to prune my grapevine, will I continue to grow.
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Danni Andrew is a writer and speaker who lives in the Four Corners area of northern New Mexico. Danni's hobbies are cooking, sewing, painting, fishing and camping. Danni was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1995. She writes and speaks on living productively with mental illness, through diet, exercise and a closer walk with God. Visit her website.
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