"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
Trying to manufacture my own faith is as futile as trying to staple apples to a tree and calling it fruitful. I have tried and failed at producing what looks to be faith without resting in Jesus. I have lived in my own strength in ministry and nearly suffered complete burnout. Bouncing back and forth between great pride in my accomplishments and great despair in my failures may sound familiar to you, too. That kind of life – abiding in our own abilities rather than in Christ – will bring us to the end of ourselves in one way or another.
Jesus loved me too much to let me remain in the confines of my own strength. Jesus brought beautiful brokenness into my life to teach me to lean deeply on His love for my strength. His comforting words from 2 Corinthians 12:9 echo in my mind: “My power is made perfect in weakness.” When I lean on Jesus, He causes “fruit” in me to grow. And it’s fruit He intends me to bear for His glory, not for my own. Fruit I try to produce on my own only proves to be rotten and useless.
ABIDE IN JESUS. DO ALL IT TAKES TO PUT HIM ON THE THRONE OF YOUR LIFE, TO SUBMIT TO HIM, AND TO REVEL IN GLORIFYING HIM.