“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, June 24, 2013

Be The Branch.


 ...he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear...
Ethiopia 2010 - photography by Anthony Kaetzel

"I know God said He wouldn't give me more than I could bear... I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

And here's the thing... He doesn't.  He doesn't trust you so much.  He trusts Himself. 

No test or temptation that comes your way 
is beyond the course of what others have had to face. 
All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; 
he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; 
he'll always be there to help you come through it. 
1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message

Often we pray that we want to know God better.  Or that we want to be more Christ-like.  And then we are surprised when life suddenly becomes hard... or harder.

Through scripture, we see that God chooses to allow those who love Him and believe in Him to be tested and tempted.  He is not counting on you to bear it by yourself.  To do it on your own.  He is all about bringing you to a place where you think you cannot bear it on your own... so that you will see Him help you come through it.

I don't think God wanted us to concentrate on the phrase, "he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.I think He wanted us to focus on the words, "God will never let you down... he'll always be there."

 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me...

"God wants to chain me down... put a yoke on me."

Nope.  He is saying... as opposed to doing it on your own.  If you take on His yoke... He is going to carry the weight.  He is doing the hard work.  You get to walk along and work with Him and watch how He does it.

 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? 
Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. 
I'll show you how to take a real rest. 
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. 
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 
Keep company with me and 
you'll learn to live freely and lightly." 
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

How do we do this?  How do we walk with Him?  Work with Him?  Watch how He does it?

Read the Bible.  Pray.  Do a Bible Study.  Go to church.  Find a godly mentor.  Spend time in God's beauty.  Journal your thoughts.  Read a book by a Christian author.  Listen to praise music... remain in Him.

“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

YOU = the branch.  Not the vine.  That's His job.  If you are trying to be a branch without the vine... well, that is just not going to work out, is it?  The branch is nourished and strengthened and able to live ONLY dependent on the vine.  And that is how He knows that you will be able to bear it... because you are dependent upon the vine.  Dependent upon Him.

So today when you are facing a temptation or a trial that you think is beyond what you can bear... remember that you are not alone.  You do not need to carry the load on your own.  Stop trying to be the vine.

Be the branch.

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