“Read your Bible and pray every day.” Perhaps you have heard this advice as the answer for how to grow in God. While it rings true, sometimes our surface application diminishes its impact. Yet, the fact remains, if we are to be effective in our obedience to God, we must habitually commune with Jesus. Yes, the difference between success and failure on the mission field includes understanding the culture and gaining linguistic proficiency, but far more crucial is maintaining one’s lifeline to Jesus.
Jesus urged His disciples to remain in Him, and He would remain in them, “for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4, NLT). Jesus carries the vine-branches illustration through John 15:1-8, emphasizing that abiding in Jesus is the key to effective service. Without Him, we can do nothing (15:5). The Live|Dead church planting initiative phrases it this way: “Abiding is one of our core values. Each day’s best is realized when it includes extravagant time in His presence. Abiding personally and corporately empowers us to bear much fruit.”
The answer has been with us all along. It’s not new, but it is profound. As the saying goes, “Go deep before you go wide.” In your daily time with Jesus, you are cultivating what it takes to make it not only on a mission field but in life. Jesus wants you more than He wants your service to Him. He wants you to know your identity is, first and foremost, as His child. Your profession or calling is secondary. The more you’re His, the more effective you are in what He would have you to do.
Prayer Focus: Cultivating Time to Abide with Jesus
Author of life, thank You for answers that are not beyond our reach. Keep our hearts sensitive to truths we’ve heard so long; don’t let them fall on deaf ears. Help us to remember that living for You in literally every situation is made possible when we stay in communion with You. Keep us reading our Bibles, praying for others and ourselves, and rejoicing in Your fatherhood. May everyone who answers Your call to reach every tribe and nation keep putting You first.
“We must train the habit of faith.” – C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
This blog post was originally written and published by Assemblies of God World Missions.