I was trying to move the blog subscribers from jetpack to mailchimp on monday so as to be able to send links to download each week’s #OnlineBibleStudy.
It took me hours to figure it out and it still didn’t work out with my phone.
I was getting all worked up and tired.
I pinged Bolaji to help me sort it out from her end and it still didn’t work out.
I wanted to get it done not just for the #OnlineBibleStudy download but also to be able to set up a system for sending links to download my books when they come out… soon.
I was just getting worked up with the whole thing. More so because I had to edit the first book so as to be able to send to someone to edit also and I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do anything because I was worked up with the whole mail chimp palaver.
So what did I do?
When I was feeling overwhelmed?
I switched off my phone(sorry Bolaji, that’s why I didn’t reply your ping), tuned off everything and went into “In the silence” – It’s actually a Juanita Bynum’s song. I played it over and over again and just kept praying for grace. And in the process, this study was born.
Trust God to teach me a lesson and draw me into Him the midst of things just clouding my mind (that’s actually God’s answer for when we get all worked up you know, just come to me is what He keeps saying…)
Firstly, I went back to my notes on purpose that God had given me last year and I was reminded of the fact that my Daddy didn’t intend for me to get all ruffled up about all He has given me to do.
He actually said “Jesus is your template in this Frances, you can’t do this without Him – you can’t do nothing without Him”
And then I was led to John 15 which is actually our scriptural basis for this study.
What do you do when you are dead tired with all the stuff that you have to do?
What do you do when you feel dead beat with walking in purpose for God?
You want to know how to deal with this right? Me too!
So let’s dig into the Word together.
John 15:1-2 (Jesus speaking)
âI am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesnât produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”
Hold up there.
I don’t understand Lord, “you prune the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more?”
I am feeling overwhelmed with the little I have now and you are saying that there’s more oncoming?
If you are working for Jesus/God is opening up different paths to you right now, you should actually expect more visions, more ideas, more steps to cover in purpose.
But how are we going to do it if the small steps we see already feels so overwhelming?
Again let’s go back to the Word.
“You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.”
That is the first step to being pruned for producing more fruit for Jesus – getting into the message – the Word He has given us.
But that isn’t the end, we must go further.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. âYes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Now, after we did the knowing Jesus study, I kept seeing why God wants me to draw closer to Him.
I can’t fulfil purpose without being in Him and somehow, I have to draw closer to Him than where I am at right now and it’s the same for us.
He says “remain in me and I will remain in you, for apart from me, you can do nothing”
And then I found out that remaining in Him doesn’t just mean during our devotion time. Personally, I cannot count how many times I feel overwhelmed during the day when I am sitting by my laptop even after I have had an awesome time with God during my morning quiet time.
Remaining in God means every time, every second, every minute.
He says remain in me.
By staying in His word only?
But also by keeping your relationship with Him alive.
Now, as I studied for this, the example of a husband and wife kept coming to me and I didn’t understand why till I read John 15 in the AMP version of the Bible.
“Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” (please read John 15:1-8 in the AMP version too)
The AMP version actually refers to our dwelling in God as “vital union with Me”.
What does He mean by “vital union”?
What kind of union?
Of course we know that our union with God is a marriage – a relationship – not a religion.
So let’s go on with an example: if you are married and run into issues during your day/just want to talk to someone, who do you call?
Your husband right?
You are in over your head with everything that’s going on in your life?
Pick up the phone and call Jesus – it’s just only better… you don’t need a phone to call Him.
Just switch off from what’s happening in your life and switch into Him – in the silence.
Get out of the noise in your soul and let you and your husband – Jesus have some cuddling time before He sends you off to work.
Now, what happens when you and your husband have some real me time and some intimacy under the sheets?
If God wills and the lady isn’t on birth control, something starts brewing in her belly right? Conception takes place right?
Now imagine the same thing happening with God.
What happens after you tune off and tune into Him, abide in Him like He says?
If you do it really well, you leave His presence with your pregnancy and bear fruits for Him.
And just like a physical husband, the more you remain in God and abide in Him, the more pregnancy and fruits you bear.
That’s why Jesus says in John 15:6-8
“Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
(now, I was getting some lessons on the correlation between bearing fruits for Him, relating to asking for anything we want to be granted but we’ll do that another time)
Your remaining in Him, closely tied to Him gives you the ability to indeed produce much fruits.
There’s a time for Jesus alone and a time for what Jesus has sent you to do.
You can only do what Jesus has sent you to do if you get the Jesus’s time on lock down.
Without Jesus – the vine – the living water – you wither up and die, literally.
Your physical body may not die but your spirit and all the potentials He has created you with just might die a terrible death. Never bringing out the fruits that you should have birthed if you had remained in Jesus.
Now, notice that in John 15:2, Jesus says “He cuts off every BRANCH OF MINE that doesn’t produce fruit”
So even the branches that are cut off were of Jesus.
So where did they get it wrong?
Again remember that we read up there that “you have already been pruned by the message I have given you”
So everyone who heard the message at first were pruned by it.
The only thing is, some stopped at being pruned by the message, they didn’t move on into “remaining in Jesus”
I always like to say that salvation isn’t the main thing, it’s only the first step, you are meant to increase in the wisdom and knowledge of God even after giving your life to God.
It’s the same thing here.
Some branches heard the message and were pruned by it but then did nothing more and for those branches Jesus says “they shall be gathered into a pile to be burned”
I shudder to think that of myself.
As I write this, it’s coming to mind that what is gathered up to be burned isn’t they themselves, but what they could have been in Christ.
Gifts, talents, the heights God could have taken them to if they had remained in Him… all gathered up to be burned.
A truly sad situation.
But if you will keep your relationship with God alive, He promises that you will bear much fruit in Him.
What kind of fruit?
The kind of fruit that will bring God (not you) glory.
Now some of us worry about the plans God has for us and the steps He is showing us about producing fruits in Him – I know I do.
But please, again, let’s use the analysis of the husband and wife here.
What happens after their time of intimacy under the sheets and the wife gets pregnant?
The husband makes sure that He takes care of her and safely helps to see the delivery to term with God helping them right?
Now, maybe the man actually is a wicked husband and then he runs away and leave the woman to fend for herself…
That might happen in the physical instance but can never happen in the instance with God.
You remain with God and keep your intimacy with Him alive right?
And as a result, you are bursting forth with ideas and awesome things He has put in you…
Here’s what He as your heavenly Husband does: He sees your pregnancy to full term and safely delivers it!
So worry not!
Get overwhelmed no longer!
Jesus never asked us to do what He has given us to do alone.
He says “remain in me and you will bear much fruit”
The ticket to your doing all I want you to do is in me.
Stop acting like I gave you too much load that you can’t handle.
I know you in and out remember?
I know what your ability can carry and I won’t give you more than that.
Just get this right…
I am to be at the forefront, helping you achieve what I have set before you.
You do this as right as you should and you will actually do nothing. I will carry you through it all.
Remain in Me.
Apart from me, you can do nothing.
Sweet Lord Jesus, I get so restless in my soul with worry most times.
I keep running ahead of you and trying to walk the path you have set me on, on my own. I am sorry Lord.
Help me to tune off of everything that stands between us and help me to tune into you.
Empower me with grace to always remain in you – there’s nowhere else I should be but in you.
Thank you Lord Jesus, in Jesus name I have prayed, amen!
“Have you never heard?Have you never understood?The lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of all the earth.He never grows weak or weary.No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired,and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the lord will find new strength.They will soar high on wings like eagles.They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.”
Thank You great and mighty God!
As usual, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed to the point of maybe even having panic attacks over what God has laid out for you to do?
How did the Spirit help you deal with it?
And I can’t help but point out an observation of mine.
Has anyone else noticed that God is calling us into a deeper relationship with Him in this period? Or is it just me?
The blog sister I talked about in my testimony post newsletter to the sisters in her prayer group was on “relationship with Jesus”.
Right from the time we did the study on knowing Jesus till now, it has been one pull or the other in my heart to press into God.
I think we should take advantage of this season and press into God.
If you have been slacking in your quiet time with God/your relationship hasn’t really been vibrant, please press in.
God help us all.
I will be sending mails later on today to all subscribers to the blog with links to the page to download this week’s #OnlineBibleStudy like I mentioned in our blog news yesterday.
If you aren’t subscribed yet, please do so via the box at the end of this post and I will send the link to download the PDF file of this study to you.
Till our next #OnlineBibleStudy,
Keep digging deeper into Jesus,
t4temiJune 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm
This is so on point………thanks, frances. God has indeed made u a blessing upon this earth……and very true too, there is a special annointing everywhere at this period of time……as a matter of fact, this university of Ibadan campus has turned into something else, everywhere I go….I keep seeing lots of people praying in tongues and enjoying themselves with God…..it fascinates me…how the subconscious in every man would sometimes be very discerning of the times and seasons……all in all…I enjoy ur blog. It’s real n fresh
Frances OkoroJune 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm
It’s the Spirit in us that makes us sensitive to what’s happening in us and around us. It’s the reason why remaining in Him is sooo important.
He gives you details on what is happening per time too.
Our relationship with God is important, mighty important.
God help us to keep our side of the deal and keep our relationship with Him alive.
MobolajiJune 17, 2015 at 9:40 pm
God bless you big time. You must be tired of how I tell you every Wednesday message is for me. Just today I put a sticker note on my desk and wrote “God is here” so I can remember that through all the hustle and bustle, He’s right there holding me and giving me the strength to do what He has given me.
Love you big time! God grant you more wisdom and knowledge. I definitely need more “in the Silence” time with my savior.
Frances OkoroJune 17, 2015 at 11:57 pm
Ah Bolaji! I am not tired of you telling me each study is for you- shows me that I am not alone with the words that ring in my head, thank you!
And I love your reminder…everytime you see it, you know that you aren’t supposed to do this(whatever) this is alone, God is there with you through it all..
And in the silence? The best time we can ever have, you leave refreshed and full!
kekeJune 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm
I wanted to die when I read up till the conception bit, your analogy is beautiful Frances. I have done a full study on John and I never thought of it like this. I feel so blessed and refreshed by this post today.
Frances OkoroJune 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm
I actually never saw that analogy till today Keke..i guess God just wanted to use it to teach me(us) on how our relationship with Him should indeed be – as tight and intimate as that.
I pray we all get there and if we are there, we increase and continue to bask in His presence in Jesus name, amen!
I appreciate your thoughts on these studies…always!
WaleJune 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Right on Point…….this Just helped me cast my worries that have being trying to Overhelm me,Knowing that Jesus is always willing ……….Thanks from a silent ardent follower……One of the few Blogs that saves me from Internet junks… God Bless you…..More Ororo(oil) on your head……………..
Frances OkoroJune 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm
Yay! Wale! Thank you for coming out of the silence today(ironically, today’s post says you should go into the silence.lol)
I am glad this study helped you.
Continue to bask in Jesus’s arms!
And amen and amen! Thanks for your prayers! God help us all to grow deeper roots into Him in Jesus name, amen!
AdaolisaJuly 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm
Ckay, coming in late but this was a great post and i got refreshed by it.
God is also calling me deeper, its about the relationship. He seeks our attention in the midst of present distractions.
Frances, this was a good devotion with the Father, how lovingly he opens our eyes to the wisdom…….
Frances OkoroJuly 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm
No problem that your comment is coming late, me loves it! Thank you!
And yes, it’s a season for deeper!
And God will indeed show Himself to anyone who presses in.
#Grace on us all.