Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The branch must be connected to the tree

In chapter 5 we have lots of analogies. I love a good analogy that puts something in an easy perspective for me to understand. The author tells us a story about a boy who went on a ship to the the new world and about how he starved because he didn’t think he could use his money to eat on the ship only to find out later it was free the whole time. I have heard this story before when people think that they have to wait till their life is good enough to come to a relationship with Christ so they put Him off only to find out later that they could have had the relationship the whole time. The price He paid for us is done and nothing we do can change that. She reminds us that the devil enjoys using our busy schedules our doubts and our fears so that we feel unworthy and don’t become intimate in our relationship with Christ. We have another shaded area that gives us advice on how to create a living room intimacy with God. I have heard of several who have prayer closets but this gives you some other ideas to help you have your quiet time with Him.

In the section titled, “How to live together,” in chapter 5 she tells a story of a branch that falls from the tree but is still trying it’s hardest to produce apples. But the branch doesn’t have the power to produce the apples, only the tree does. The branch must be connected to the tree to produce the fruit. I like this analogy of how Christ is our tree and we His branches that must be connected to Him to bear much fruit. So often we try the “do it ourselves” approach and think we will yield the same results as we did when we were fully attached to Him. It doesn’t always work out and many times we fail. Then since the devil couldn't keep us from thinking we need a savior he tried to make us think that we don’t deserve our savior. He tries his hardest to keep us from revamping that relationship. Don’t feel like you can’t do it. Don’t listen to the devil and let his lies corrupt your walk. She makes mention that we should do a daily housecleaning of our sins and turning them over to God so that it doesn’t build up and we feel overwhelmed. She gives us the formula for intimacy with God, prayer + the word + time. In the back of the book she asks which one of these are you struggling with as you try to build your relationship? Which one comes easiest? She tells us that, “Conscious repentance leads to unconscious holiness.” If we try to do these tasks everyday to build our relationship with him how much easier the bearing of fruit will become?

I want to reflect on one last analogy, from this chapter, where the author quotes Kent Hughes. “Think of it this way, Our lives are like photographic plates, and prayer is like a time exposure to God. As we expose ourselves to God for a half hour, an hour, perhaps two hours a day, his image is imprinted more and more upon us. More and more we absorb the image of his character, his love, his wisdom, his way of dealing with life and people.” Isn’t this what we all need? To be exposed to God in a way that we abide in him and allow Him to abide in us and we become more of a reflection of Jesus than of ourselves?

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