John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
It’s exciting, you know? When God gives you a vision and ignites a passion for that vision inside of you. It’s like He’s handed you the ball, and the crowd is roaring, your adrenaline is pumping, you can see the goal post, and all you want to do is take the ball and run for it! This big part of you just wants to dive in head first, do the work, and bring that vision to fruition. I’ve been there…a couple of times… and in my well-meaning haste, I stepped out of my lane, moved to fast, moved ahead of God…outside of His perfect will…and delayed the fulfillment of the vision.
I didn’t realize what was happening in the midst of it all. I just kept pushing…trying to make things happen in the way I thought best. It’s only recently that I realized that when our efforts just don’t seem to be bearing any fruit, it’s usually because we have moved ahead of God and are trying to do things in our own power…in our own way.
The Word tells us that apart from God, we can accomplish nothing (John 15:5). I believe this verse goes beyond referencing our foundational relationship with God and implores us to approach everything with a God-centered focus—our work, our ministry, our relationships…everything. So when God gives us a vision, before we move, we must give it back to God, seeking His wisdom, guidance, favor, and anointing as we move forward; checking in regularly to make sure that we are on the right path; and heeding His correction when we stray in the wrong direction or move ahead of Him. It is then, I believe, that we start to see our efforts begin to bear real fruit.
I’m not saying that there won’t be struggles along the way; but oftentimes, those struggles are a warning sign, letting us know that we have “drifted out of our lane” or “failed to obey the speed limit” and moved ahead of God. Indeed, those moments of difficulty and discomfort may just be God’s way of giving us a course correction; and it’s in our best interest to take heed, receive his guidance, and open ourselves to be led as God nudges us back onto the path towards fulfilling the vision that He has placed on our hearts.