Thursday, September 17, 2015

"You Are My Joy"

(by David Crowder*Band) 



I discovered yet another post that I began a year and a half ago. And since I can't seem to find the time to even catch you up on the latest happenings, I figured I'd go ahead and post this because it's still where I am...

In the beginning of Growth Groups a couple of years ago, we discussed a word or phrase that described our spiritual life. I said that I am learning to abide in Christ, which is where God has been drawing me for a few years. But I still haven't fully arrived. I'm beginning to think that I'll never fully get to that place and stay there, but I plan on making the conscious decision to return every time I realize I'm not there.

Because I'm prone to wander.

Not far, but just outside of His rest.

Focused more on my struggles than on Him.

Tying my "happy" to something other than Him.

I really don't think I fully realized that I'm this way until the summer before I led the Made to Crave study and was captured by the following phrase:

We are taught to remain in God’s love so that we won’t tie our happy to anything but God. So our joy will be complete. Complete. As in not lacking anything. Complete. As in filled up to the brink with joy no matter if we are wearing our skinny jeans or not. Complete. As in satisfied with a fullness we can’t get any other way. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to live as a complete person?

And because of that, I ended up leading the study on the book of John, which you may recall is one of my favorites. In fact, I decided to make it's own label because I've made so many references to the posts about it (so now they're easier to find)! Chapter 15 is where I have remained for awhile now {see how I did that?! Funny thing is I used a DC*B song for that post, too!} because it was such huge catalyst for change in my life.

"Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5)

I think I've tried to do life beside the vine for a long time rather than in the vine. But it's only when I abide in the vine that I experience the peace, joy, hope, and all of the other benefits that come from abiding in Jesus. But it's not just about me, because the fruit that is developed in my life ultimately brings glory to God.

I read something about fruit that described it as the delectable product of that which is created by the inner life of the vine. When I'm not in Him, I tend to seek hope, joy, peace, or whatever it is that I think I need, when I really just need Him. He will give the hope (or whatever it is that I'm seeking) that can only be found in Him anyways. I can read every verse out there that talks about joy and still not find it. But the true, lasting, not dependent upon circumstance joy can only be found in Him. When I find Him, when I'm in Him, I find joy. The same goes for hope, the same goes for peace, the same goes for love, etc. In seeking Him, we find Him.

And He is even better than the byproduct (or fruit). ♥

Amy

1 comments:

Natalie Busch said...

I'm glad you decided to post this. So much truth and revelation here. What an awesome reminder to be IN the vine. Thanks for sharing what God has spoken to you <3