Ever feel like you’re always behind the 8 ball? Like life is passing you by too quickly and it’s all you can do to play catch-up? I know for me, life just seems to be getting busier and busier and I am feeling the pressure to try harder, achieve more, and work faster.
Striving to do more and be “better” can seem like the right path to go down, but when it comes to our relationship with Christ it can be toxic. A couple of years ago I was introduced to an idea that wrecked my perspective of God and continues to wreck it today. In short, the idea is that the more I do to please God or to try get close to him by “doing,” the further away I’ll feel, especially when I fail.
The secret to maintaining a flourishing relationship with Christ is simple: just abide. Stop striving. You can’t earn his love. No matter how many people you care for, how many stranded kittens you rescue, how many elderly ladies you help across the street, it doesn’t change his love for you. His love is complete. All He wants is to hang out with you and show you how much he loves you. I think the secret to a fulfilling life in Christ is found in John 15:1-4.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
Instead of focusing on the fruit, let’s put our focus on staying connected to the Vine. If we simply relax in Christ and let his love wash over us and tell us who we are apart from what we do, then the obedience and “works” will naturally flow from within us as a response to being complete in him.
My prayer for you and for me is that we stop striving to win a Love that is already complete.
More Abiding. Less Striving.
Joel Burkhead, Technical Arts Director
My Band – Allana Story – Bassist