“This is how I roll!” Recently, while in New York City, these are the 5 words that were talked about on TV, on radio and in newspapers. A former congressman who had stepped down and who is now running for Mayor of the City used these words as he defended his position for not stepping out of the race. His personal life is involved in a sexting scandal. He talked about not quitting, no matter what, and said that was how “New Yorkers Roll!” In light of how sickening his view on repeating his indiscretions is to me, I decided to shed a positive light on how Jesus intended for “Christians to Roll!”
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear MUCH FRUIT, APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.” John 15:5-6. This short verse came out of the mouth of Jesus himself. The last part of the passage, verse 6, “apart from me you can do nothing!” really gets my attention and keeps it. The way God intended for us to “ROLL” is WITH Him. He doesn’t say we can do some things without Him, He says we can DO NOTHING. Really stop and think about that. I take it to mean–we go about our days with little regard for Jesus and give Him a “head fake” here and there with our attention and time. Reading our Bible occasionally or grabbing it at night just before we go to sleep when everything else in our day has come first. We do it so we can check it off our list. We go to church on Sunday out of routine and that is what all “Christians” do, the Sunday thing—we are going through meaningless motion. Nothing we do really counts because it was done in our own strength.
I think when Jesus talks about bearing fruit, it means the significance and impact we can have on “OTHERS FOR HIM”. That could be anything from encouraging someone, giving a helping hand, or countless others things. If we have been in the word (the Bible) and been with Jesus, especially in the first part of our day, it allows us to have our “focus” in the right place. We are attached to the “vine”. The communication is there and thus we can be “aware and alert” to the things HE has for us everyday and hopefully there will be no missed opportunity. If this happens, the result will be that of “bearing much FRUIT!”
Let me just clarify here, I have been very good about this at times and very bad at others. I’ve been a Christian for 42 years. Whether we like it or not, if we are not diligent and disciplined in our walk with Christ, the FAST “ROLL” CAN BECOME SLOW AND OFF COURSE……AND THEN YOU ARE “ROLLING” IN A COMPLETELY WRONG DIRECTION. IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT FAIRWAY!!!
If you follow my journal, then you know my fruit bearing has been very sparse, in my opinion, in past years because of “people pleasing” instead of God Pleasing. As I have gotten much better at God pleasing, especially in the last 3 years, I can physically and visibly see the “Fruit” in my own life. I AM BEARING FRUIT AGAIN. It is so easy to let many things stand in the way of your relationship with God. It took some convincing and REAL SELF-EXAMINATION to really realize my “totem pole” had the wrong “stack”. God was second and, IF He is second, HE is LAST!!
A very small, but meaningful, example of bearing fruit for me is in the following story. During my daily time with God in the morning (It happens very early and has grown to be very long. I have to get up earlier so I can still get in all I need to do, thus a major sacrifice on my part is sleep. The benefit has far outweighed the sacrifice!!) Since I have been meeting with God early in the morning, I have been able to more clearly hear God speak to me in my spirit. I have learned to recognize this feeling. I describe it like a feeling of thirst or hunger that you can feel (not a voice). Someone’s name will pop in my mind. The name, along with the feeling, I have come to recognize go together. I pray for them and follow it up with a card, text or phone call. A year ago, while I was traveling, the name of my friend, Terri, came to my spirit. I prayed for her and then texted her! It was just minutes before I heard back from her. Her text went something like this, “Wow! wow! You really have no idea how this text came at just the right time. You really, really don’t know how this text has encouraged me so much!! Thank you!!” Then a few minutes later, she texted again and said, “I want to make sure you know this helped me and the timing was perfect!” I was not looking for that or really any response other than thanks! But God in His faithfulness let me know through her, “You are hearing Me correctly so keep on ROLLING!!” THAT’S HOW GOD INTENDS FOR US TO ROLL AS CHRISTIANS!! IF WE ARE CONNECTED, HIS TIMING IS PERFECT IN OUR LIVES AND OTHERS AND WE CAN BE USED BY HIM TO HELP PEOPLE EVEN THROUGH A SIMPLE,QUICK TEXT.
I ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT GOD IS FIRST! REMAIN IN HIM AND THEN YOU WILL READILY SEE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENCOURAGE AND HELP OTHERS, THUS BEARING FRUIT!