“…Apart from me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5
It was months ago, but I remember it like yesterday. I walked up to Camila* and introduced myself. I explained that I was a pastor and that I wanted to talk to her about Jesus and to pray for her. She burst into tears and responded, “Why didn’t you tell me that three days ago?” She went on to tell me about two major, life-threatening tragedies in her family. Both of which had taken place in just the past three days, a period of time in which her despair only grew greater by the moment. The next two hours involved counseling, praying and opening the Scriptures with her and other friends who had joined in.
What Camila didn’t know was that three days prior to our conversation I had nearly approached her armed with this same message, but lacked the courage to talk to her. I created a “legitimate” excuse and decided to wait until another day….walking right past her, in her moment of greatest need.
Though I know God’s timing is always perfect, I also know that the Holy Spirit uses moments like these to correct and convict my soul, to remind me of the evil one’s tactics in keeping me from what I know I should do.
As I thought back on why I decided not to approach Camila three days prior, Robert Murry M’Cheyne’s words began to make sense to me. He said, “My people’s greatest need is my personal holiness.” I’ve realized that holiness is the outcome of the Spirit working in me to seek a deep and personal pursuit of my Lord that begins anew every day. Without that, I am nothing, and I can do nothing. In the strength of the flesh, I will always make “legitimate” excuses and avoid opportunities I might not have otherwise if I were depending on the Father.
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5
That is also why the man “after God’s heart” explains from his own experience how crucial it is to meditate on God’s word day and night. For, the one who does this is “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. ” Ps. 1
The time I spend on my knees and on meditating on our Savior’s word, bears directly on my daily and hourly decisions. It roots me in my Savior’s strength and not my own.
As you call out to our Lord today, please pray for Christians and missionaries around the world. Pray that the Spirit would work in us that we might all be faithful in deepening our roots in Christ daily, that he might speak and act through us as we abide in him.
*Camila is used in place of her real name.