Do you ever feel like you have to stay busy doing, doing, doing if you want to keep up with the pace of life in this day and age? This world is becoming increasingly busier by the millisecond. It can be exhausting trying to stay on top of all the pressing things that are important. And the crazy thing is that the idea of gaining a greater sense of purpose is often linked to how much we try to accomplish.
For Christians, there is a tendency to feel like we glorify God by having our hands in several “pies,” so to speak. The more ministries we serve in; the more services we attend; the more people we minister to; the more relationships we try to maintain… the more, the more, the more…the more glory to God.
If we aren’t careful, though, we can really drive ourselves into the ground trying to maintain all the commitments we were once eager to fulfill. Trust me, I know.
I am in the ministry. I travel to gatherings of people around the world who wish to be trained in revival and the gifts of the Spirit. I love it!
I’ll be honest. I can tend to find satisfaction by an itinerary that is loaded for many months in advance. I can also tend to feel less significant when the calendar is looking sparse.
I’m actually currently enjoying a light travel season, partially because I’m working on several other projects. Between those and raising my precious infant with Jessica, I am doing a wonderful job staying…busy…and tired. And to top off this “busy pie,” I sprinkle meetings and time with many busy friends.
Sunday morning, I was “enjoying” the worship service at church. Actually, I realized it became mostly background music as my mind was racing through all of the different projects I am trying to accomplish…for the sake of God. Then God interrupted me.
Distracting me from my deep mediation, He took me to John 15:8. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
God is not glorified by busyness. He is glorified by fruit!
Accomplishments are not necessarily fruit. Wearing ourselves out by working hard certainly is not fruitful.
What is fruit?
Fruit is an outward manifestation of the life source within. An apple tree doesn’t work hard to produce apples. I’ve never seen an exhausted apple tree that actually had good apples. Branches don’t get busy in order to bear fruit. They simply keep a good connection with the trunk and enjoy the richness of its life source.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5).
God isn’t looking for us to accomplish many things. He is looking for us to bear good fruit. We aren’t even the ones responsible for producing the fruit. Our job description is simple: abide in Christ. God doesn’t want busy-bodies. He wants the affections of our heart.
God wants us to proactively enjoy our union with Him. Being a branch, we can’t help but to bear the fruit of the vine. It happens, not from our busy work, but from our abiding. Fruit is the byproduct of abiding.
Busyness can be a counterfeit to fulfillment. God knows this. That’s why God wants to “prune” us so we can bear more and better fruit. It isn’t about how much we do; it’s about how much we enjoy Him.
When you boil Christianity down to its purest form, it is simply about bearing the fruit of intimacy with Christ. This is how you glorify God!
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:3).