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
It’s Monday morning. You just went to church yesterday, yet you’re not as energized and pumped up for the week as you want to be. In fact, you’re feeling kind of exhausted. You thought that being in a Bible study, serving at your favorite charity, and being mentored by an older woman would leave you feeling a sort of spiritual-high, but instead, you feel somewhat disconnected from God.
Perhaps your spiritual life is missing one thing: a quiet time, that is, time spent alone with just you and God. If this is you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Our generation has grown up do-do-doing and go-go-going. A moment of silence is seen as a halt in productivity, and therefore a luxury at best, or an inconvenience at worst.
But the Bible teaches us to take a different, slightly slower pace at life. The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
Be still. These two words are so contrary to the fast-paced world we live in today - which leads me to believe they are more important than ever.
Jesus models this so well in His ministry. Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Sure, Jesus was a busy man. He had a lot to do during His limited time here on earth. He was healing, saving, teaching, and performing miracles. Even though He was both human and God in one body, (Colossians 2:9) He still often took the time to leave His 12 disciples and the people He was serving to go be alone with God the Father.
This quiet time was essential to His ministry. Jesus knew that apart from His Father He could do nothing. Jesus’ mission and purpose for being sent to the earth was His Father’s will. In order to fulfill His will, be obedient, and avoid the many temptations He faced here on earth, Jesus had to spend time alone with God.
Jesus Himself even teaches us about having a quiet time. In Matthew 6:6, He says, “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (MSG)
Sometimes at church or with other Christians it can be easy for us to put on a mask and pretend that we are more “spiritual” or more “Christian” than we really feel. We keep quiet about struggles we are having in order to pretend that we are in “superstar Christian” mode. Since God knows our hearts inside and out, spending time alone with Him gives us the opportunity to be real and to known fully.
We also have a tendency, again in this fast-paced world, to always be praying, always asking, and always answering. A quiet time is a time for God to speak to you - for you to be silent and open to whatever God has for you.
There are many ways to structure your quiet time, but simply blocking out some space - maybe 10 or 15 minutes - in your busy day is a great start.
Apart from the Lord, we are bound to fail. We need His love, strength, and wisdom in order to live meaningful lives here on earth. He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him we cannot produce any good thing. (John 15:5)
So let’s stay rooted and connected with Him, just like Jesus did, in order to live the abundant lives He planned for us to have.
1. Am I running on fumes, trying to do everything by my own strength (apart from the vine)?
2. How can I be more personally connected with God throughout the week?
3. When will I carve out 10-15 minutes to be still with God starting tomorrow?
4. Who can I ask to help keep me accountable to spending this time with God?
Dear Father, You are the vine and I am a branch. Help me to recognize that I cannot do anything worthwhile apart from You. Give me the willpower and discipline to cling closely to You, so that I can fulfill the wonderful plans You have for me. Help me remember that my relationship with You is personal, and while community is essential, I must be rooted in You first. Help me to trust that time out of my busy day spent with You is never a waste.
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