“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
“…When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation is intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”
John 5:5 NLT and MSG
Over the past few years, God has really impressed upon me how important my relationships are. My relationship with Him, with friends, family, coworkers and managers, strangers and even enemies. He has shown me that in the beginning He didn’t create church as in the building but rather an intimate, organic relationship in which we walk with Him and talk with Him everyday like Adam and Eve did.
Today, however, I received a new revelation on “apart from me you can do nothing” or “you can’t produce a thing.” What did He mean by this? Think about all of the people in the world that are disconnected from God that have nice careers, homes, cars, and are in perfect health. Clearly, they’re functioning just fine. So, what did Jesus mean when He said this. Well, think back to the Garden of Eden. God said the day Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they would die. Yet, they remained alive and their lineage carried on throughout the earth. Is God a liar or just forgetful?
He is eternal and purposeful. Everything from Him and through Him has the means to be powerful and long-lasting but without Him, things are short-lived and without meaning, purposeless. He reminded me today of what idols are. Idols are dead things that man worships and gives or perpetuates life to. It could be rock or metal or even human flesh. God reminded me today of celebrities like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and others. I don’t know the conditions of their hearts or whether or not they were saved but if their accomplishments were outside of God then they will amount to nothing. If all they were were great singers and actors/actresses, then that’s all they will be. For some that will be okay. For those with an earthly mindset, the bare minimum will always be enough. But for those with a spiritual mindset, we will always seek to go beyond because we serve an unlimited God.
All of us are going to face God’s judgement one day. This shouldn’t be an intimidating thing for the believer but rather an uplifting, rejoicing moment. When God judges us, He will look at the conditions of our heart and evaluate our faith in the one who paid for our lives, Jesus Christ. He will also look at what we accomplished in the time that we were given. How do I know this? His word says that we will give a personal account of our lives (Rom. 14:12). But He doesn’t want to condemn us, He wants to reward us and compensate us for our time. That’s why we will receive crowns to throw at His feet in celebration (Rev. 4:10).
What does this all mean? And how does it apply to your life?
Our lives are designed for God’s production. We are not robots but we are servants with the free-will to choose God’s intimacy everyday. It applies to your life because we are also designed for accomplishment. We were created to have dominion on the earth (Gen. 1:26). In order to have dominion over something, you have to conquer or accomplish a mission. Our mission is to represent Him in a dark and dying world. The only way God is physically present is through us. We are His hands, feet, and voices. He calls us His body (Eph. 5:30) because when it was broken apart on the cross, it was divided into all of us by His Spirit.
If you have received Christ as your Savior, He is not only in you but apart of you. You are apart of Him also! This all matters because there are things we try and do without Him but desire His signature on and He won’t sign for it. There are relationships that He won’t approve, provisions He won’t allow, and atmospheres He won’t change because we are separated from Him.
We often want God to do the work and “make us” get right with Him. But God wants intimate, organic, raw relationships with us. He wants us to want and need Him so that He can use us in the magnitude that we need to be used. If you are desiring to be used by God, get close. Get a little closer every day. Get closer in your prayer, in your worship, in your work, in your studying, and meditating on His word. Get as close as possible and He will always meet you halfway. In the meeting of God’s presence is where you will find purpose and the accomplishments that you seek.