Most people spend a couple hours each day on the Internet, a few more hours watching television. It doesn’t seem like much, but when we reach the end of our lives, we will have spent nearly 15 years in front of electronic devices.
In contrast, if we go to church twice a week, and spend ten minutes in personal devotions each day, we will reach the end of our lives having devoted about a year or two to spiritual pursuits.
These sobering statistics remind us of how important it is to have our priorities in order. It isn’t always easy to defeat apathy or resist temptation. We must commit to cultivating an ever-growing relationship with Him. Staying connected to Christ is the heart of today’s verse.
Jesus compares us to a branch, living, growing and flourishing only as long as it is connected to the vine. God gives us opportunity to experience a vibrant, fruitful life, but only as long as we’re tapped into the Source of that life.
Sometimes, we offer up the prayer, “Lord, help me to live for You.” That’s not the prayer of the branch. The branch prays, “Lord, live Your life through me.” The one great purpose of the branch is to bear the fruit of the vine. The first step to breaking an addiction is to abide to accept, without opposition, the flow of the resurrected life of Jesus.
To be successful at not acting on addiction, a person needs to fill the space with something more rewarding than the comfort and escape the substance has provided. Starting at your addiction to your addiction, then yielding to Jesus, and doing it over and over each and every day is the secret of abiding.
The only question is, “Do you want to be free more than you want your addiction?” Very few can answer honestly. Push yourself toward transparency. Now, shift away from the craving by praying the prayer of the branch, “Lord, live Your life through me.”