“When your way isn’t working, check your connection with the Vine. You are the branch, and the branch’s most important job is to stay connected with the Vine.”- Kyle Idleman
“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 (NIV)
Kyle Idleman moves on in Chapter 1 of When Your Way Isn’t Working as he notes our reluctance to admit that our way isn’t working. Instead, we tend to blame people and circumstances over which we have no control.
As a result, Pastor Idleman poses a rhetorical question — a question his therapist asked him. How is your way working for you? Certainly, the answer is obvious. Consequently, Kyle lists a number of questions to guide our thinking. I highlighted six:
- Have you been more irritable and easily annoyed with people?
- Do you spend more time on social media or more time in prayer?
- Do you get irrationally upset when the drive-through line is taking too long?
- Have you become more apathetic to things you once cared deeply about?
- Do you feel your contributions and efforts are often unnoticed or unappreciated?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how defensive and annoyed have these questions made you?
In conclusion, Pastor Idleman notes that John 14-17 (the “Farewell Discourse”) records the words of Jesus to His closest followers prior to His crucifixion. Because Jesus knows His time on earth — and with His disciples — is limited. Furthermore, Jesus knows full well what is coming. And that if the disciples try to do things their way, that way won’t work.
Choosing to do thing their way will create division, cause them to feel discouraged, leave them feeling overwhelmed, and leave them angry with God. Hence, they must remain connected with Jesus.
Today’s question: What Bible verses strengthen your connection with the Vine? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Controlling metaphor = wheel hub”