“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

— John 15:5

“Train hard, but then let the performance flow naturally. Don’t try to make something happen, just trust your stuff and let it happen.”

— Gary Mack, Mind Gym

Do you believe that God’s heart is for you?
That He’s really there for you?
That He’s got your back?
Men can do a host of religious activities, but they have a hard time inviting God in to the deepest parts of themselves and practicing His presence. It is important for men to recognize God’s calling on their lives and to have great expectations of what He will do. However, it’s equally important to recognize that none of us can do anything worth doing without Him. When we attempt to accomplish God’s work, or even live the Christian life, apart from an authentic relationship with Him, we get burned out, frustrated, and fail. It amounts to religion without relationship. but God created us for relationship. Dr. Henry Cloud notes, “Relationship or bonding… is at the foundation of God’s nature. Since we are created in His likeness, relationship is our most fundamental need, the very foundation of who we are. Without relationship, without attachment to God and others, we can’t be ourselves.”

Any good work that is of lasting, eternal worth flows naturally out of a relationship with God. Our tendency as men is to grit our teeth and exert our willpower. We wrestle with ourselves toiling to do right, when our focus should not be on doing but on being; not struggling, but abiding. The problem with willpower is it doesn’t work. Fruit is never the product of willpower. It’s a result of abiding in the Vine. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” NKV. Isn’t that what we all want? It comes as a result of being with Jesus.

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus said he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, and bears fruit (Matthew 13:23). Let your efforts be directed to hearing the Word of God and then allowing the Holy Spirit guide you to understand it. Then, in relationship with Him, as you abide, the seeds of His Word will grow and produce fruit—lasting, eternal fruit.

Don’t try harder to make it happen. Rest in what He’s already done. Allow the Holy Spirit flow through you and let it happen.

Prayer to IGNITE:
God I thank you that I am good ground and that every good work comes from abiding in you. Help me to hear your words and understand them.