By: Janiece Renee
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
In my family, my dad is the king of baking sweet potato pie! After my grandma passed away, my dad took on the mantle of baking the sweet potato pies for all of the family holidays. As a child,
I can remember him making 12-16 pies at a time during Thanksgiving. He made so many because everyone he knew wanted one of those delicious pies. And when I say they are delicious, I mean they are DELICIOUS!
That’s why it has been my heart’s desire to learn how to make them too. I want to be the one to carry my grandma’s sweet potato pie mantle. And I can remember a few years ago calling my dad to get the recipe. He told me everything that I needed to know. Every ingredient was written down, purchased, and spread out on my counter as I anticipated the incredibly delectable outcome. I mean, I’ve seen my dad make these pies more times than I could count and I just knew that I could do it too.
Well, as you can probably guess, I was wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, the pie tasted good. In fact, my best friend was all over that pie! He loved every bit of it. But I knew that something wasn’t right. Although it was good, it didn’t taste as good as when my daddy makes it. It didn’t even taste as good as the first time I’d made it a few years before.
Last time, I called my daddy and he walked me through the process. I was mindful of his every word. I trusted that his direction would get me the results that I desired. I trusted that if I listened to my daddy and did everything he told me to do, that the promise of a delicious sweet potato pie would be mine for the taking. And when I did that, the result was a delicious sweet potato pie that tasted as good as my daddy’s. I did the right thing that time and I realized that the second time around I was still not ready to do this thing on my own.
And for many of you, it might not be a sweet potato pie, but you know what it means to try to do something without the guidance of your Father. Maybe you tried a new relationship, a new job, or a new school. Maybe you keep trying to live your life knowing about God but not having a relationship with God. Maybe you read your YouVersion Scripture verse of the day, say a quick prayer, and head out each day trying to do life on your own.
Well friends, I’m sorry to tell you but…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!
When we try to do life without constant trusting dependence on and obedience to God, the results may be sweet but it’ll never be as delicious as when God is in it. When you seek God to give you vision, direction, strategy, and guidance, He will lead you right into your destiny.
And I know, I know…you’re probably wondering…what does relationship with God look like? Well, it looks like a consistent prayer life where you talk and you listen to God. It looks like searching Scripture to know and be led by His word. It looks like sincere worship both in and out of the church. It looks like finding a healthy church where you can be in accountable community with fellow believers and where you can grow in the knowledge and understanding of Scripture. It looks like being the hands and feet of Christ in the world. And it looks like trusting obedience to God because you believe that He really is a loving parent with your best interest at heart and His glory in mind.
Following God means that you abide in Jesus and that you commit your works to God so that He may establish your plans.
So, what does it look like to abide in Jesus in your own life? I encourage you to reflect on this today so that you don’t get caught up doing it wrong!
Follow Janiece on IG @jayreneeiam