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Going it Alone or Going With God

John 15:4-8 (New International Version)
4Remain 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.
5 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. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Yesterday I looked back at my journal entries of April 30th and May 1st. These were days I heard God speaking to me and were the turning point that led to me sharing my journal with friends via email. I knew at the time that to ignore his gentle but clear voice in the area in which he was correcting me, would have meant a loss of something precious, although I didn’t understand completely what it would be.

The scripture today, particularly verse 6, confirms the truth of what was at stake in that moment, “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers;” In that moment of significance, I was standing at the crossroads of fruitfulness or barrenness. I heard and answered and now find my soul resonating with the words of Job’s friend Elihu:

Job 32:17-19 (New International Version)
17 I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.

Dear Lord, there are no words for the gratitude and joy I feel at this moment. You pry open our tightly clenched fists, in which we grasp sticks of wood and pieces of hay and straw. You want to replace them with gold and silver and precious stones so that we might use them to build your Kingdom. How I worship you! Everything in me bows before you in awe and adoration.

“The chief credential for the Master’s service is not technology or mighty theology, but a broken and contrite spirit through which the Master’s Spirit can flow.” Philip Keller

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