“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1–8).
Control; Let go and Let God
Control is one of those words that is near the top of a man’s list, regardless of other activities or hobbies, which will be prevalent. It is something that I even struggle giving up from time to time in my own household. There was a constant struggle between me and God during eleven years of my life. He wanted control and I wanted control. I will testify that those eleven years was extremely tough and I failed miserably. I am sure some are thinking, “Yeah right” or on the opposite side going, “duh”. I was very hard headed, (more so then than now, according to my wife) and I did not feel God should waste His time with me, that He should help someone else who needed it worse than me. Looking back now, I was the one that needed it the most. Everything I touched failed. I gave no room for decisions that was contrary to what I wanted. God wanted me in church, I convinced myself I did not need church, I was “religious” enough. I had to have everything done my way or no way at all. Needless to say this line of thinking will create havoc not only in your spiritual life, but your marriage as well.
Concerning marriage, my wife would get tiered of me calling all the shots and never giving any consideration to her thoughts or ideas. I will not lie, even if she had a good idea I would figure a way around it so I would not look weak. This leaves your wife feeling useless and having no say so in the life she agreed to love and cherish till death do us part. I was always told that the majority of arguments between a husband and wife would be over money, religion, and politics. (Or some version of this). Well, when your wife has no say so in any of these matters, of course there will be some type of altercation. The key: “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
Communication and compromise. Listen to her guys, if she has a great idea, praise her and run with it, if you honestly believe it is a bad idea, explain and look for a compromise. She needs to feel like she is contributing into the relationship. Marriage is not a dictatorship, rather a selflessness(ship). You are not a captain on a ship, rather a co-captain in a Christ centered vessel.
Now, concerning my spiritual life. My choice of denial was I was strong enough and not worthy of God’s help. Which is ironic since I needed Christ in my life to reach heaven. Nevertheless, I wanted that control in all other aspects of my life. This led to anger and resentment when my bills was not getting paid, I lost my job, my health was not up to par, or anything that went against my will. This would keep me from praying, reading the Word, or even having God talks among my family. It took forever to realize whose fault it actually was when those bad things happened to me. My tree was bare, I imagine it may have had one half-eaten apple hanging from this tree. God was trying to prune and I wanted my dead limbs to hang. I will tell you right now, if your tree is not baring fruit, your family will starve, your friends will starve, strangers will starve because they have nothing they can pick from your tree and eat. As life continued to spiral downhill, I began to try something different. Something I felt was a last resort because there was nothing else I could do. I decided I would give God’s way a try. I did not give all the control up at one time, I am still hard headed, but I gave Him a chance. I soon found that the more I gave to Him, the more that got accomplished, and the more I could share with others in testimony (hence the bearing fruit part). Suddenly, the attitudes of my wife and kids began to change, then co-workers, and even some strangers. All because I allowed God to prune my tree and let them partake of the fruit.
Letting go and letting God, is not an easy thing to do and it is a work in progress for me. I will promise you this though, if you keep working at it and trust Him the more fruit your tree will produce and the greater His kingdom will be! Do not let Satan trick you into believing that letting go of control is sign of weakness. In reality your greatest power and strength will come when you “let go and let God.”
Assignment: Think of one area in your life you can “let go and let God,” and truly give it to God and watch what happens. Write this down and when God fixes it, complete your writing and share it with at least ten other people. (I would love if anyone would share with me, I am always encouraged in others testimonies). When you see His progress in one of your problems, try another with the same process.
If you want to accept Jesus Christ into your life, simply bow your head and repeat these words from the heart,
“Dear God I know I’m a sinner, I know I am not where I want to be, and I want your forgiveness! I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins and rose again and is alive today!
Please wash me clean from all sin, shame, and guilt, come into my life Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I ask this in your name Jesus.
*Next find yourself a Bible believing church where there are real people with real problems who aren’t afraid to admit that. And that they know how to take these real problems to God.
*Take time to read from the Bible, if you want, you can start with the Gospel of John and then the book of Romans in the New Testament.
 Unless otherwise noted all references is in The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).