"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." John 15:5
"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love." John 15:10
Oh, don't you love it? I just thought of it this morning, and at first it made me laugh, then I thought, "HMMM...". By the way, is "HMMM... " an actual thought? Or just a noise in my head? Contemplating this.
I haven't been consistently in the Word for almost a year now. No wonder I have been feeling lost. Undone with out God. My friend, Pam, has been texting me daily for about two weeks to check on me. Have I been in the Word? Have I been constant in my prayers? Boy-O, has it been helpful. And I've been rediscovering what it is to be found. And what a monster lost-ness is.
The monster of living with out being daily washed by the Word and His deep and abiding love for us creeps up, doesn't it? Subtle. Slow constriction. Like those boas whose work is done before their victim even has a clue. Has a chance. To not be cleansed by His love letters to us, and to walk a dirty walk? Yuck. To make excuses? Even honest ones? Gross.
John 15:5 commands us to remain in Him. How can I remain in Him if I'm not spending time in His Word? Isn't that how He speaks? The Eternal speaks! To me! To us!
Given my heart prone to wander, I have always wondered how I can remain in Jesus. So today....He sends the answer. Why did I never see it? Down there in verse 10, still in Chapter 15. "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love...". "HMMM...". The Lord keeps bringing up obedience, and I wonder why. [I just typed "shy"...and have you ever noticed that both "why" and "shy" both end in the sound, "I"?.... SQUIRREL!]
He has been pressing on this thing for a bit, and I have been ignoring Him. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for something to confirm. Someone. How is His Word to me not confirming? Will you obey me in this thing, Bernadette? Day after day. Chapter after chapter. Verse after verse. Obey. Obey. Obey.
And with out grumbling? With out the lost-ness monster attitude? But with grace and trust and hope? Holding His hand? Following?
Giving all this writing and all this freedom to Him so He can just have it...for His own. Jesus owns Freedom Journal, and He is asking us to let it go. OUT. And, oh dear, with out fear.
Battle stations, everyone!