Priscilla Shirer told the story of how she was trying to leave for an appointment one day and her garage door wouldn’t open. They punched every button, tried everything they could think of, but could not get the door open. Eventually, they discovered that one of the lasers had been bumped out of alignment so that it was not connecting properly. Once the laser was bumped back into place, the garage door opened. Do you ever find yourself stuck in the garage trying to get the door open?
I often have dreams where I am trying to get somewhere, but things and people keep getting in my way, and I just can’t seem to get where I want to go. I wake up frustrated and irritable. It is often a representation of my real life. I feel stuck in the garage. The door just refuses to open. Maybe it is a case of needing realignment.
In John 15:4 says, “4 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.” To be properly aligned, we must abide in Christ. To abide in Christ is to be obedient to His Word, which means we have to take time to read and meditate on the scriptures and then apply them to our lives. In the process, God prunes away whatever keeps us from producing fruit, allowing us to grow spiritually.
If we want the door to open, we need to align ourselves with God’s Word, and then He will open the door to the path He has planned for us. The answer is simple, but it isn’t always easy. The alignment process may only take a small bump in the right direction, or it may mean a complete overhaul. However, the process is worth it because it brings you to where you were meant to be. No matter where you are on the spectrum, I think the words of an old hymn sum it up beautifully:
Trust and Obey
Have you ever bought something that looked good on the surface, but when you got it home and out of the box, it lacked substance? Have you ever ordered food that looked good, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover only to find out the book was nothing like what the cover portrayed? I think everyone has been fooled by appearances at some point in their lives. That is why God is more concerned with our soul, what is coming from our hearts, than he is about how we look.
Society is impressed by a busy schedule. I had a boss or two who were more concerned that employees looked busy than they were by the actual outcome of the work. So, even though all of the work assigned to me was done quickly and efficiently, they seemed to think I was lazy if I wasn’t constantly busy. Productivity seemed to have no bearing on the situation.
As Christians, we are meant to produce fruit through our connection to the vine, Jesus Christ. In John 15 it says he is the vine and we are the branches. If we have a solid connection to the vine, it does all of the work to produce the fruit, such as the fruit of the Spirit. God, the husbandman, works with the vine to produce fruit, so if the branches get trapped in the dirt and mud, He will pick it up, clean it off, and bring it back out into the sunlight. He will also prune the branches when they produce too many flowers or greenery and limited fruit because His goal is fruit production, and flowers block the branches from receiving the vital nutrients they need from the sun.
You see sometimes we get so caught up in being busy for God that we do everything except produce fruit. Flowers and greenery may be pretty and look good to the world, but God isn’t interested in appearances. He is interested in producing fruit. He will cut back the greenery and flowers until He gets the vine back into the sun and back into its real purpose of producing fruit.
Take a moment to take stock of what you are producing. Are you producing flowers or fruit? Are you doing what the world thinks you should, or are you doing what God says you should? Flowers look good, but the fruit that comes from God sustains life. Which one are you: fruit or flower?