5I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. … 8When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. (John 15:5,8)
In our busy-ness we tend to forget our purpose. We were created for fellowship with God. (Remember Adam and Eve in the garden and how they walked with God before they decided to go their own way?) There is a push in our culture to be “productive”. Yet, God tells us the priority is to rest in Him.
Resting in God is not the absence of action, but action which comes out of living in the heart of God instead of living hoping one’s actions will merit entrance into His heart. Our work is to be an outflowing from our intimacy with God, not something to prove ourselves or even to honor Him with our own good ideas. (Actually these serve more to distract us from our true purpose, which is to be in Him as He is in us – like Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus.)
When Jesus is our Savior, He offers us entry into His heart. When Jesus is Lord, He invites us to dwell in His heart and be at rest there even through life’s toughest challenges.
In His heart, we are invited to leave all our burdens at His feet and let His Spirit guide us through our days instead of trudging on in our own best efforts. When we dwell in Him – pausing to bow, listen and learn – He fills us with His wisdom and His way so we can pursue the activities He specifically lays before us in His continual companionship, inner peace and out-raying joy.
At rest in His heart, when we make it our highest priority to take time to be close to Him, He shares His secrets with us, we are blessed, go forth in His will and lives are changed – by His power, by His plan, and not by us. We are the vessel. Filled up with Him, it flows through us His way to do His work as we look on in absolute awe. We are His witnesses, while we are His ambassadors.
He is the Vine; we are the branches. If we are not attached to Him, it is true that we can do nothing. There may be activity, but there will be none of His fruit. And though His infinite love for us will not change, we will have failed.
We need to guard the quiet, staunchly standing firm for the priority of time spent in inaction in the presence of the one true God. It is in Him we live, move and have our being – no one else. There will be seasons where we must “cram” everything into our days with little pause or rest, but these should be seasons and not lifestyle.
With technology and the ability to “connect” with others in so many ways, there is a clamor of voices around us at all times. Through these voices we become aware of a volume of needs, the magnitude of which we never can fully meet. Sometimes we let these needs drive our activity levels.
God alone knows where our time is to be spent and it will not be too much. Together we are His army and He will deploy each of us into the specific work He has for our hands at any particular moment. It will be just right.
We must guard our times of quiet where He speaks to us and fills us with Himself, so that our efforts are driven by His will and infused with His power for His good effect. We must protect our minds from so much input we cannot process and reflect. Before we invite anything or anyone else in, we must make sure there is room for God’s voice to completely fill the space of our minds and heart with His Spirit and His way. Only then can we function as His ambassadors with His love and mercy in actions and words. Only then.
Guard the quiet. It is a sacrifice of praise!
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.
Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss. (A current outreach is The Japan GRIEF Project.) For information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org
Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible. Thank you for your prayers and support!