Without Jesus, We Can Do Nothing

The name of this ministry ThrivingBranch, comes from the discourse that Jesus makes in John chapter 15, about Him being the Vine and us being the branches. We have done studies in this discourse before. Today however, we are going to focus in on one specific area of what Jesus said – one specific point which often gets overlooked; that without Him we can do nothing.
I emphasize that last part, because it is actually very important to our understanding and perspective of our relationship with Christ, and it’s also a point that is devastating to our own human pride.

You see, we tend to not really believe that Jesus meant what He said… that without Him we truly cannot do anything. Surely, He was exaggerating a little bit, right? Of-course He didn’t mean that we can’t do a single thing without Him, did He?

Indeed He did. And this is what we will be taking a look at today in this study. And by seeing this, we will be able to truly embrace our relationship with Christ, and understand the necessity for Him and everything that He provides to us.

It’s Not Your Prayer, It’s His Favor

I’ve had the great privilege over the years to be a part of many different prayer groups. Admittedly some were more enjoyable than others, and some were much more blessed than others, but each had a value and a purpose and touched my life in some way.

And it was in these groups that I also had the opportunity to listen to many different people as they engaged in the most favorable of all states: prayer – communication and communion with God; and this is where I proceeded to hear many things… many different approaches, attitudes and formalities that people had about God and about prayer.

And through it all, I came to realize one thing in-particular… one thing that I want to share with you today, one thing that the scriptures make very clear: that prayer is not a formal or mysterious thing.

Rather, prayer is specifically, communion and communication with God. And what I want to share with you today, is what the communion and what this communication is really about, and what it looks like, and how you do not have to stand on formality with God – because He is your Father who loves you.

Quality Time With Jesus

What does it mean to “Spend time with Jesus”? You may have heard that phrase before, and wondered the same thing. After all, Jesus is up in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, according to Colossians 3:1, and many other verses.

Of-course we also know that God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). How does this inform us regarding our time with Him?
Many times, I have heard people say that spending time with Jesus is engaging in religious activity, such as attending church services, or Christian conferences; completing reading plans, or any of the other things that we generally consider to be religious behaviors.

In this study today, I would like to share with you a different perspective… one that may be a bit uncomfortable at first, and may require you to take a step back from the common idea of what spending time with Jesus is, and see it in a different light – a light not based on a religious checklist, but instead based on relationship, with a God who gave everything to restore you.

The Spirit’s Role in Your Life

What role does the Holy Spirit of God have in your life? I have asked this question to a lot of people over the years, and I have heard a lot of different answers. Some people say that the Spirit of God tells us when we sin. Others say along a similar line, that the Spirit is our conscience, telling us wrong from right, good from evil. And of-course there are others still who just plain have no idea what the Spirit is for, or if the Spirit of God even exists today at all.

What I want to share with you today, is what the Bible says about the Spirit’s Role in our life today, and how the Spirit of God interacts with us. Jesus said that it would be better for us when He departed, because He would give us another Comforter, that being His Spirit – and He didn’t leave us guessing about who this Comforter was or what role the Spirit would have. So we shouldn’t be hesitant to look at it.

What Place Are You Praying In?

Many times, I have heard people say, “I have prayed and prayed, but nothing seemed to happen!”. They are expressing their honest frustration at the apparent lack of results – and that’s okay. If we are honest, we have been there before, we know how that feels, and it is okay to express those feelings. God is not upset when people share their heart, in-fact He would much rather have open honestly than religious pretense.

When I have talked with these people sharing these feelings, we eventually get down to one main thing though, and that is the place they are in. And most are shocked when I mention this… because they don’t expect it… they don’t see it coming. You see, people have all sorts of places that they actually are in every single day. We really should only have one, but we have many, and the scriptures have something to say about it, in regards to faith and prayer in Christ; and what it says, may surprise you.

Jesus is the Source of Your Confidence

Do you have confidence? I’m not talking about self-confidence, but confidence in God. Many people today just aren’t sure. They aren’t sure of God, they aren’t sure of His motives, they aren’t sure of His intentions, nor His character. Many people are afraid that God will strike them down. And they are afraid to ask God for help or provision or just plain fun because they are afraid that He will think they are being greedy or unholy. And then when they do manage to find the courage to ask God for something, they are on shaky ground, because they mostly expect Him to deny their request for a variety of reasons – from God trying to teach them a lesson, to having sin in their life – basically any reason mankind can come up with as an excuse for God not granting their request.

This kind of thinking about God has caused a lot of pain over the years. It is easier for our natural mind to assume the worst about God, than to see a God that actually wants to grant our requests. Our default mindset is “We can ask God, but don’t get your hopes up!”

However today I want to share with you the truth about God straight from the scripture regarding this issue. Not what man has said about God, but what He says about Himself. And the truth may surprise you.

Believe That You Receive

Many times when asking God for something, we expect to see immediate results. There’s nothing wrong with that really – especially when dealing with an all powerful God who lives outside of time. However, when immediate results are not apparent, we as humans start covering and start coming up with all manner of reasons and explanations for why our request was not granted. There is something wrong with this. Because right from the start the assumption is that our requests were not granted, and then based on that faulty assumption we begin conceiving all-manner of anti-Biblical doctrine to try and make sense of our present experience – and the faith of many people has been shipwrecked as a result of such practices.

What we will be studying today is what the Bible actually says about requesting things, faith and receiving. The true words spoken by Jesus may surprise you. Once we see the truth about what Jesus taught, it will broaden the horizon of our thinking and our expectations when it comes to believing and receiving.