“…first remember what I taught you: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
“Come, relax in me and let my Spirit work through you. I know you are unskilled, clumsy and awkward, but the Spirit is the Master-worker. If he controls your heart and your hands, he will work through you. Now turn around.” Then putting his great strong arms around me and his hands under mine he picked up the tools and began to work through me. “Relax. You are still too tense. Let go — let me do the work!” (Robert Boyd Munger, My Heart-Christ’s Home)
Far too often I have wanted to give up on writing and blogging. I want to write, I want to blog. I want my little corner of the internet to be fruitful. I desire that my hands and my keyboard be put to work for God’s kingdom. But so often I just… well… struggle. I know just enough about sentence structure, syntax, and technical blog stuff to get frustrated and overwhelmed. But not enough to create anything that is, by my standards, amazing, awesome, or just plain cool. At least… not on my own.
When I first started blogging I couldn’t keep from sharing all that God was teaching me through His word. Read and study, write, then post. Read and study, write, then post.
The Spirit was opening my eyes to His grace and His love was doing amazing things in my heart. Every new insight was spilling over into the internet through my keyboard and my blog. My writing life was good. Abiding led learning, which led to blogging. It was exciting, freeing, and life-giving.
And then… I started noticing all the other blogs out there. All the other writers. What they were doing and what I wasn’t. Instead of abiding in Christ, I started abiding online — obsessed with what all the experts said about content, SEO, and getting and keeping an audience. Frustrations came. Comparison. Doubt. Even guilt.
I began to struggle to find ideas to write about. And when they did come, the words didn’t flow like they once did. I believed I was led by the Spirit to blog… at least I thought it was Him leading me… so why was it so hard? To you the answer is probably clear. It may be obvious that the reason I began to struggle was because I had stopped abiding in Christ. And you know what? You are right.
Once I decided to pray and turn my struggles over to God, the Holy Spirit began to reveal something to me. I was no longer reading and studying His Word to abide in Him.
I had once opened my Bible to know Jesus. I had desired a relationship with Him. Now, I was doing it to put words in a blog post.
The fruit had become my motivation. And yes, wanting fruit can be wrong when you want the fruit more than you want your Savior.
This wrong motivation had caused me to strive and work and wear myself out. – Tweet
I was trying to produce something I could never produce without Jesus. In order to write anything that reflects God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control I must be abiding in Him. It is the only way.
4 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.
5 “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. (John 15:4-5 NKJV)
Once I began abiding in the Master-worker, the Master-writer, I slowly saw changes. Changes in my attitude toward my blog. Changes in how freely the words came. Even changes in how I viewed other blogger’s fruit.
As I began to relax into Jesus and let Him work through me my little corner of the internet began to bear fruit again. I don’t know exactly how each of my blog posts will impact the kingdom of God, but I’m no longer worried about it or struggle to make it happen. It’s in God’s hands. Jesus is doing the work and anything that He does lasts. And that’s all I need to know.
Are your struggling to serve the Church and produce lasting fruit with your blog (or any other area of ministry)? I encourage you to take your struggles to the Lord. Ask Him to reveal to you the underlying motivation of your heart. Perhaps, like me, you are more wrapped up in seeing the fruit than you are in knowing your Savior. If this is the case, simply confess it and trust that the Lord has forgiven you and will cleanse you of unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)
Only by grace, Kelli
Kelli is a wife, mom, coffee-drinker, Bible-reader, and Jesus-believer! She blogs at www.QuietlyReminded.com where she hopes to remind her readers of God’s goodness, His grace, and His glory. She is also a contributing writer at www.DoNotDepart.com and is a Bible study author for www.HelloMornings.com.
♥Connect With Kelli♥