These two verses speak to me these days . . .
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. – Deuteronomy 8: 3
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15: 5
Recently, I took part in some decisions that needed to be made. Due to current circumstances and related conditions, things had to change and this resulted in the eliminating of ministry responsibilities and activities at our church. These verses have come to mind in light of those decisions along with a related truth my wife has declared that makes perfect sense.
We do not live on what we consume or on what we manufacture for ourselves. We live on what proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Is such revelation from the Lord a dormant document from which we glean? I’ve heard it said, “Is it good to live on principle or presence (of God)?” Principle is good to live on when God’s presence is not abounding to provide direction and inspiration.
I believe these days we’re living and dying on the interpretation of principle alone. That’s fine, but Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead so we can live in the manifest presence of God. We can always pull items out of a dormant document for justification for what we want or don’t want. The Bible is living and gives life because it reveals God to us, but when the holy presence of the Spirit is not what we are familiar with and consequently not what we cling to for life, our interpretation of scripture is up to us. We’re then left to make decisions on what seems right at the moment. Is faith found in that to be a determining factor in how we should act? Probably not. Again, Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
April’s insight has not left me since she said it. “We cannot put ministry ahead of God.” I have lived in the church for decades, and what she said is always true. We always put ministry ahead of God because we do not know what it means to pursue God and find direction from Him alone for our lives.
I cannot speak for anyone else in this blog. I can only speak for me, and for me, I’m tired of seeing a lot of nothing among believers in the church. I’m tired of settling for nothing. This nothing is the result of not being connected to the vine and being apart from Jesus. Being connected to Jesus is when we think about and praise and worship and trust Him above all things, even my own experiences and knowledge.
What would we look like if we pursued God above all things and desires? What would we look like if our passions were all heaven directed and any earthly passion always took a back seat?
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.