“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” — Proverbs 3:5, NIV
Many of us have probably pushed ourselves to our limits at one time or another. This could be to physically or mentally make our plans happen or impress ourselves or others. We may have even tried to the point of frustration to create the life we want or become the person we think we should be.
However, as Christians, we know our strength does not come from us. We cannot shift ourselves into better Christians or people. Working harder or forcing ourselves to push more will not produce the results we hope for.
Relying on God is the key to growing in our faith. He has the power to change our actions, heart, situation and life. He has ultimate control in a world where we have none. He has plans for us when we are uncertain. He knows what is best for us, even when we don’t. We must remain in him to find true hope and true purpose in our lives.
The Vine and Branches
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5, NIV
In John 15, Jesus paints a mental picture for us to illustrate how important and crucial it is for him to be the center of our lives. Imagine a vine with branches. In a healthy situation, these branches are all growing, strong and full of fruit. However, if a branch is not connected to the vine and has fallen to the ground, it will no longer bear fruit.
It is the same with us in our relationship with Jesus. In our lives, we should be bearing fruit. Our lives should reflect the fruits of the spirit and Jesus’ example for us. However, we cannot do this on our own. If we are not connected to the vine — or Jesus in this image — we are not able to bear fruit and our actions reflect that. We are not able to free ourselves from sin or fear or death. Only when we are connected to the vine, will we be able to bear fruit in our lives and bring glory to God.
Look to the Lord and His Strength
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” — Psalm 105:4-11, NIV
So, when we are failing, weak, scared or desperate, we should not turn to our own power. Rather, we should look to the Lord. Our inadequacy is not all consuming when we rely on his strength. Rather we can find strength, hope, perseverance and so much more that is rooted in Jesus Christ.
In Psalm 18:2, David calls God “my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” This is a wonderful image of choosing to rely on God and praising him. He is our fortress and deliverer, our rock and refuge, our salvation and stronghold. It is him who gives us strength.
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Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Feb. 1, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.