When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
The scriptures, especially the Psalms of David, are replete with references about spending time in communion with God. Most believers don’t have to be persuaded of the importance of a regular, healthy devotional life, but many would admit to an inconsistency in the practice. This is no small oversight. Time with God, in His Word and in prayer, is not merely a quaint practice, but a necessity to living a fruitful life.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Jesus makes it clear that just as the branch is dependent upon the nourishment from the vine to bear fruit, so too our fruitfulness as believers is dependent upon our connection with Him. The Amplified Bible is even more explicit: “However, apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b Amplified Bible).
In Psalm 42:1, David wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.” It’s clear that David put a premium on seeking God. We, on the other hand, live in a society that values industry. In fact, we see being busy as a mark of value and importance. However, as believers it is crucial that we see the distinction between busyness and fruitfulness. The fact is, some of us are too busy to be fruitful. Busyness is activity in response to life’s demands, whether it’s paying bills, running the kids to soccer practice, or doing the grocery shopping. Many of these responsibilities are necessary, of course, but if we think they’re more important than spending time in God’s presence, we’re sadly mistaken. Busyness will never replace fruitfulness, for fruitfulness only comes from nurturing that vital connection with Christ. The truth is that for most of us, it’s not a matter of not having the time, but of making the time. It’s an issue of priorities.
Sometimes for a tree to be fruitful, the extraneous branches have to be trimmed off so the life and vitality of the tree can be redirected to the larger, fruit-bearing branches. The same can be true of us. If we’ll allow God to trim off some of the busyness from our lives and give ourselves to spending time in fellowship with Him, we will see a marked increase in the fruitfulness in our lives. A Bible reading program or a good devotional can be a great help to give us structure, but the primary tool needed to cultivate a good devotional life is a firm dedication to be intentional about giving God the place in our lives that is His due. Join me in making 2018 a year of daily, intentional time with God. I can’t wait to see what He chooses to do through such a fruitful connection!
-Dr. Randy Lane Bunch
Church planter, pastor, and adjunct professor at Summit Bible College in Bakersfield, California. Author of several books, including his new devotional, Immutable: Changeless Truth for a Changing World, available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, or Apple iBooks. For more information about Randy’s ministry, visit www.randylanebunch.org.