February 14th, 2006



Thinking since yesterday about the nature of God's work in me, how He is its initiator, sustainer, and finisher. Jesus is the vine; we who believe are the branches. Our work is not to "do" but to remain in Him, to abide. Over and over again, Scripture illustrates growth in similar fashion: seed and soils, grain and harvest, the great mustard tree and the cursed fig tree, the fruit of the Spirit. All show the basic, essential nature of growth as God's responsibility, His work.

So where am I? It's not so much that I need to do or not do things (though I may); the big deal is where I'm placing myself. While there are, of course, consequences to my sin and disobedience, the real problem with it is that I'm simply getting in the way rather than remaining where He can best grow me. I regularly find myself lacking in qualities I know are pleasing to Him—rather than trying to "do them better," I need to instead see how I am impeding their growth, grounded in the knowledge that He is the one who will bring them to fruition.

God offers flourishing. That relieves so much pressure when I'm reminded of our respective places in that offer and begin to get out of His way and let Him do His work.