For the past week or so, I have wanted to write a blog exploring how to stay in the Vine of Jesus; the place where peace and rest resides. Whenever I attempted to begin, I felt discontent, that the effort would not bring satisfaction. A part of me wanted to write it, yet another did not. Something was not quite right.
There were two issues creating an inner tension. One was a feeling that I 'had' to do the blog, that I would not be able to relax until I did, and that ‘I should do something with your time'. The other, was a subtle knowing that I was not abiding in the very space that I wanted to write about, certainly a paradox.
I admitted to the Lord and to myself that I did not really feel like writing it. I said this as if I was saying no to something He asked me to do, a bit like a child moaning that he did not want to eat his vegetables. However, upon reflection my heart or spirit was really saying that it wanted Him more than writing about Him, revealing a very different heart attitude.
Ironically, and to my surprise and relief, a few moments after admitting that I didn’t feel like writing about 'abiding in the Vine', I found myself back in the Vine. I also found myself wanting to share this experience and felt free to do so, reminding me again of the call to 'seek first the Kingdom', and that the truth certainly does set us free (Mt 6:33, Jn 8:32).
Peace and contentment replaced frustration and unsettledness. I sensed the Lord’s pleasure, as though he was saying, 'thank you for choosing me over trying to write about me', incredibly drawing him closer to me (Jas 4:8). This was a very special space to be.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
In hindsight, I could see that I subtly slipped out from abiding in the Vine, and was operating from that old but familiar performance place (the old nature). My soul (mind, will & emotions) felt a need to earn or justify itself in Him. While it is a ‘natural’ thing to do, from the place of the Spirit it is insane. Thankfully, God is a kind and patient Father who comes looking for us, and leads us back into Him (Luke 15).