Never Disconnect from Him
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (ESV)
I’ve always loved John 15:5, where Jesus paints such a rich picture of our relationship to him - green, vibrant branches connected to a solid, living vine - our risen Savior. Now none of us have to wonder how the branches stay alive and grow; they’re connected to the vine 24/7 for their nourishment.
So why would I think it’s any different when it comes to my relationship with Christ? I’m not sure - but my basic idea of how to maintain fellowship with Jesus is still deeply ingrained from my teen years - spend a little time reading my Bible in the morning, pray, maybe journal a bit, then head out to do life on my own. Repeat this every morning, and really top off the tank on Thursdays during community group and especially at church on Sunday.
There’s plenty of doing, but not a lot of being when it comes to how I tend to pursue Christ. My soul truly longs for deeper connection to my Savior, but most of the time I feel stuck in that regard, not sure what to do other than what I already know. I don’t think I’m alone in this regard - most Christians I talk to sincerely desire a John 15:5 kind of relationship with Christ, yet struggle with how to find that place.
Joni Eareckson Tada has some great thoughts to share in her devotional “Never Disconnect from Him.” I loved her witty opening thoughts:
In this era of omnipresent electronic devices, we might imagine “abiding in Christ” is similar to plugging a phone into an outlet. We sit down for our quiet time and ask ourselves, How long do I have to be plugged into God today to get a good spiritual charge? But Jesus never said, “I am the power cord, and you are the cell phone.” No, He says, “I am the vine; you are the branch.”
Her main point - unlike our phones, we never have a time when we disconnect from God. Joni says plainly, “We are living branches connected to the living Christ. His life is our life. Abiding is living in constant awareness of total dependence on Jesus.” Is reading the Bible and praying an important part of our daily walk? Absolutely - but in those times when I can’t get away to read the Word or pray, I can still be mindful of Christ, his presence in my life and my absolute need for him.
As Joni says in her conclusion to today’s devotional - “Abiding in Christ is a 100 percent relationship.”