I've had some great conversations with my new roommate's in this first week that I've been here. I learned more about baseball and politics the day I moved in than I have in my entire life. Additionally, both guys graduated from a Bible college so I'm being sharpened in my faith as well.
Yesterday I was talking with Rob about the necessity of being in the Bible daily. He said it's every bit as necessary as food and water and we would never consider going two or three days without eating or drinking anything. I liked that and I agree but a struggle I feel is that so often my own daily quiet times don't yield much fruit. I feel like I spend time in the bible and in prayer and very rarely walk away with any sort of divine revelation. However, I continue to be in the word daily because, like Rob, I agree its a necessary part of cultivating a relationship with Christ.
I asked him if he felt like he comes away with something new, a new thought, a new insite or a deeper understanding everyday after being in the world. He said absolutely not. But he said if you plant a tree you don't get fruit off of it the next day. If you plant a tree it's not likely to produce fruit even within the first year. But you still have to cultivate it, prune it, trim it and in time it will blossom and bear fruit. That was the best explanation for having a daily devotional that I have ever heard.
This morning God brought John 15:4 to my mind. "Remain in me and I will remain in you, for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine and you cannot be fruitful apart from me." The first word is remain. It means to continue in the same state; continue to be as specified; to stay behind or in the same place. Not to visit. Not to come. Not to check in. But to remain. To continue. Without remaining in God we cannot produce fruit. A tree cannot produce fruit if it does not continually have exposure to sun and moisture. Even in the most perfect growing conditions, a tree takes time to bear fruit. The beautiful blossom that turns into the nourishing, life giving fruit would never come if it weren't for consistent watering and sunlight.
While I don't walk away from my time in the word everyday feeling as though I just met God on top of mount Carmel, I know that by remaining in Christ He is constantly cultivating, pruning and shaping me so that I may ultimately bear fruit that shows Christ in me.
Pretty cool deal.