With God > For God
Spoiler alert: This is one of my favorite chapters in my book Wellness His Way (coming soon! You can get on the waitlist here if you'd like to be notified when it's released!) Giving you a little snippet here!
How often do you find yourself doing things for God and yet not so much doing it with God?
It’s absolutely true that we are to do all things for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). But the doing for God (action) is the outcome of our walking with God (having a personal relationship with Him and faith in Him). This is why “with Him” leads us even deeper into the “for Him.”
In relation to health, I started out by caring for my body for God’s glory. But guess what? I was doing it my way. It doesn’t really make sense does it? My way but for God’s glory? Needless to say, God didn’t get much glory from me doing things my way. Selfish ambition was a quiet and subtle motive behind my actions.
That was when He led me to John 15 and teaching me what it means to truly abide in Him—how before I can produce fruit “for Him,” I must first be attached to Him. Let's read John 15:1-5 together:
"'I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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.'"
Jesus reveals that we can do nothing of eternal value apart from Him and that we are to remain (also known as abide) in Him. So what is abiding? I understand it as three things:
Connection: Abiding in Jesus means being connected to Him. This is the union we have. The same way a branch is connected to the vine, and a vine to the branch, we are connected to Christ and He to us. No connection means no life and no fruit.
Reliance: We as the branches get to be dependent on the Vine. There is no such thing as independence in abiding. The branches get their life and power from the Vine. Without the Vine, the branches have no purpose and no life—they are useless and powerless. We are completely reliant upon Jesus for everything that counts as spiritual fruit. Apart from Him, we can truly do nothing (v. 5).
Continuance: Abiding means to remain, stay, or continue. We are to remain in Jesus. We never stop believing Him, trusting Him, or relying on Him. Abiding is not a one-and-done event but a steadfastness in our gaze upon Him, our walk with Him, and our attachment to Him.
Therefore, we cannot just bear fruit for the glory of God. We bear fruit because we are first attached to Jesus as the True Vine. When we are humbly walking with God, following His way, abiding in His Word, and relying on His power, our faith grows and we magnify Him. It’s our love for God and faith in Him that produces faith-filled action (works).
What I want you to consider today is this: Are you quick to do all the things for God but forget to seek Him first in all you do? May today be the day you pause and take the next step with Him, follow His lead, and ensure you’re abiding in Him.
Rooting for you!