Traveling on furlough can wear you out but there is no doubt in my mind that it’s an important part of missionary life. God has used it over and over again to teach us some wonderful truths. As Americans, we become so self-reliant that we often live life without relying on God. Being self-reliant is a good thing but if we’re not careful, we can live our life without ever going to God. As Christians, we need to realize that we need God more than our abilities or talents. If we’re not careful our service becomes a routine -a good routine- but nonetheless a routine. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into. But duty can only get you so far. Our service should flow from a heart of love that realizes we need God for everything. Even the “little” things.
When a branch is attached to an apple tree, fruit will grow from the branches. This is a wonderful picture of what a believer needs to be successful. We must stay close to Christ because He is our life. We need to pray and stay in His Word so we can hear His voice and obey. A branch that is connected to the tree is stronger than a branch that has been cut off a tree. A believer who tries to live the Christian life in his own power is like a branch that has been cut off the tree. The branch dies. This happens when believers try to live their lives in their own strength.
This has been one message God has delivered to us through several different preachers and fellow missionaries. I pray this thought will challenge you as it has challenged me. Living the Christian life through your own power will only leave you frustrated. Stop relying so much on your wisdom and derive your strength from God.
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.