5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, ESV)
By: John Wethington, Lead Pastor, White Oak Church
May 3, 2018
You’ve heard the statistics about how we are living in a great time of anxiety due to technology, smart phones and non-stop connectivity. It’s true, the Internet has changed the game and we are living in it’s wake.
It doesn’t take much assessment to realize this is why productivity is the gospel of our generation. We have so many options, so many opportunities, so many things going on that the only thing we believe will be able save us in this new busy world is productivity. We need to be able to do more in less time with less energy or we’ll never make it.
So we read the books, download the apps, buy our toothpaste off Amazon, reverse-engineer everything we can get our hands on all in an attempt to be more productive and get more done because we’ve been taught our success depends on our productivity. We hustle, we grind, we push through and before you know it we start hoping revival will come in our community because of our amazing work ethic.
But then we come to the famous “abide in me” call of Jesus in John 15:5. In this moment Jesus calls us to closeness with Him, to prayer, to remove our faith from the rat race and place it in the Lord.
Recently, God convicted me of something while spending time in John 15. For the longest time when I read that passage I thought what Jesus was calling me to do was spend time with Him and thus forsake productivity and doing great things because His presence is far more satisfying than accomplishment. I thought it was a call to be less impactful because a desire to have impact was a wordly thing. And while it’s true that the presence of Jesus in our lives is far better than any accomplishment that’s not what Jesus is saying in John 15.
You see Jesus says if you abide in Him “you will produce much fruit.” I ironically always missed that part. This is where is gets almost unbelievable. The invitation Jesus offers us is to slow down, abide in Him, know He is with us and yet get more done at the same time. We are taught here the life-changing truth that in reality prayer is the greatest productivity. Your desire to see revival and do great things is something God gave you, it’s a good thing, but the catch is God wants you to do those things with Him because apart from him you can do nothing.
Christian, productivity is a real thing and John 15 Jesus tells us exactly where to find it.
Pray the Lord would grant you faith to truly believe prayer is the ultimate productivity. May you see the prayer closet truly as a war room. May you have a bold confidence that His anointing is why you will be a part of revival as opposed to your great ideas or intense work ethic.