Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:4-8
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
I had to relearn how to speak and how to listen to my wife. When the relationship was young and life was simple, we spent hours with one another talking and in many ways just being with each other. The stress of children, jobs, obligations, money woes, drama involving this person or that, boredom, my issues, her issues: All these things cast their vote and elected new idols to preside over our time. So, we had to learn to spend time, again, with one another. We had to learn to just be broken in each other’s presence. We had to learn to be quiet with one another and to listen.
Is there someone in your life who you thought you had a relationship with and as it turns out….it was a relationship with yourself and they were just along for the ride? Satan would have us do this to Jesus Christ. By our very being on earth, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but the one thing that puts men on unstable ground is when we no longer “remain in him”.
I also had to realize that, before being the man I wanted to be with my wife and family, I needed to spend quiet time with Jesus and in his Word, the Holy Bible. Through these quiet times, I could tune the world out and wrestle with his Word, pray to him, pray with him, ask him for help, learn from him and lay my burdens on him.
- No one ever taught me to have a Quiet Time. It is a skill that needs to be taught, developed and maintained. I learned to keep a journal of my Quiet Times and also to spend time analyzing scripture, choosing favorite verses and contemplating their meaning. In doing this, I started to listen and speak with God.
- Satan does not want you to have Quiet Times with God. The evil one does not want you to have a relationship with God and will do everything to distract you otherwise. That’s why being able to check the boxes of sitting still, being in the word and contemplating its meaning is crucial. If you are doing these things, you’re being with God!
- It’s very hard to keep up on Quiet Times if you don’t have accountability. As a man, I need to be around other Christian men where we help each other to keep up on our Quiet Times with God and with whom we can share our time in the Word. At the Joshua Commission, we really think that Christian men should connect with one another and form groups to look out for one another in our Christian walks…..Wingmen, such as what The Joshua Commission is facilitating through its “Wing Man Project” (you need to check this out!)
God doesn’t want to be just along for the ride. He has something to say to you and he wants to hear from you. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you” says the Lord in John 15. Be still. Open the Word and open your heart. Find men who do the same.
Daily Battle Order: Stop and be still with God while in his Word. Ask yourself what time, everyday, you can continue your relationship with God. Start journaling your experiences analyzing, choosing a best Verse and contemplating the meaning of your daily time with God. Please don’t forget about the accountability aspect: we all need to link up with strong Christian men with whom to do our walk! You should check out the Joshua Commission’s “Wing Man” Project. Our organization exists to disciple Kingdom Men. Write email@example.com if you are interested in participating along with many other men who have also signed up for the Wing Man Project. Don’t be shy!