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“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 so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will 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.” (John 15:1-4)

One of the greatest things that we could ever learn is that we are to live in God’s strength and not try to work it up ourselves.  The strength, the power, the confidence, the assurance in Jesus that He gives us is when we lean back on Him and do not try to produce it ourselves.  That’s exactly what He was telling the disciples, “You live a dependent life.” The power of the Christian life is that of dependency, and not being independent of God.

It is just like a game of opposites.  You know, golf is like that. Have you ever noticed it? When you swing to the right, the ball goes to the left.  If you swing to the left and cut the ball, it goes to the right.  It is a strange kind of deal.  Have you also noticed, you who are golfers, when you swing easy, it goes far. When you swing hard, you mess up. What’s that about?  It’s about life.

The same thing happens when we learn how to live in God’s strength out of dependence upon Him.  We become strong.  When you are trying to think,“Hey, I can do it on my own.  God, I don’t need your help.  If I need your help, I’ll ask for it.  In fact, God you have other things to be concerned about rather than me.  I’ll do my best.  I’ll make it through.  I’ll suck it up.  I’ll duck my head.  I’ll get through.”  That shows not only your ignorance and your spiritual immaturity, but also it shows that you don’t know where real strength is.

You and I need to realize that in the midst of loss, much less in even the great times, the power of the Christian life is lived when we lean back on Him and depend upon Him.  That’s not using God as a crutch, that’s learning how to live life with great power and confidence.  That’s what He was telling the disciples.  You live in me and stay in Me and you are going to bear much fruit in your life.  Live in God’s strength.  He taught the disciples that truth in the midst of going through loss himself.

The greatest example we could ever be in the midst of going through our own loss is living in God’s strength and not focusing on our pain.  Live life all tangled up with Jesus today!

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