“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.” | John 15:4

To abide in Christ is to remain linked to Him in all areas of life. He is the vine, and we are the branches – this image represents the relationship between Jesus Christ and those who believe in Him. The vine is the source of life for the branches, and the branches must abide in the vine to bear fruit.

We are called to live a life that bears much fruit, and this year I’ve been asking the Lord to help me give up the tendency to attempt to sustain myself spiritually.

As the Lord has been taking me through trials for the purpose of sanctifying me, the Enemy has been attempting to convince me to do everything on my own. When I have tried to do anything on my own, I have become discouraged and eventually give up. It’s easy to fall into this trap, and it’s hard to climb up out of the pit once I’ve fallen in.

This probably seems obvious to most of you, but I’ve learned this year that when I spend more time talking about God than I do talking to God, I am on the fast track to failure.

And it’s so easy to do.

The Lord has given me several precious girls to mentor, and I personally spend a lot of time talking to them about what the Bible says about this or that. Sometimes, I catch myself slipping into the self-appointed role of God’s mouthpiece. But if I’m speaking from the Word of God without keeping my heart connected to God’s heart, I end up being nothing more than a human being applying my own wisdom to God’s truths and hoping that it all works out.

I’ve been slowly learning to spend more time listening to God than I spend talking about Him. Get that backwards, and things will start to spiral out of control very quickly.

“Christianity is not a formula, but the Person of Jesus Himself. Never think that Christianity is a matter of adjusting behavior, but rather, of letting Christ live through us in His strength and power.” | Malcolm Smith

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