In Mary’s time, sitting at the feet of Jesus was the place of serious discipleship. It still is. It’s at his feet where love for him matures, Christ-like character flourishes and God makes clear his agenda for our lives.
The mighty works we desire to do for Jesus will never reach beyond the quality of our relationship with him.
In Spiritual Leadership Henry Blackaby writes:
“More than any other single thing leaders do, it is their prayer life that determines their effectiveness.”
Fulfilling God’s purpose requires a personal, vibrant relationship with Jesus, nurtured through private prayer, worship and Bible study and expressed in love and obedience to him.
No shortcut exists, and none is necessary when we commit to doing whatever it takes to nurture and grow in our relationship with him.
If this is hard for you, Barbara James, a prayer leader with international influence, gives this advice:
“Pray for increased hunger for the knowledge of God.”
Through Barbara’s hunger to know God, he led her to a pivotal moment where she passionately declared, “I don’t want to be a mediocre Christian. Do something extraordinary with my life for your namesake!”
The extraordinary work God can do in your life flows from passionate pursuit to know him and selfless surrender to his plan for your life.
The John 15 parable of Abiding in the Vine describes our connection to Jesus very simply.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (15:5, NLT).
We draw life from the Vine. What we cannot do for ourselves, Jesus can accomplish in us.
The Parable of the Vine also teaches increasing measures of fruitfulness, progressing from some fruit to an abundance of fruit.
The cry of the leaders’ heart must be for the highest measure of fruitfulness for God’s glory.
The “much fruit” in John 15:5 isn’t about hard work or even amazing results. It’s a measure of the abundance of Christ-like character in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).
Brenda Marlin, former international president of Protestant Women of the Chapel, asks an important question before appointing anyone to a leadership position:
“Do I (and others) want to sit under her fruit tree?”
Remember, we don’t eat our fruit, others do.
You might be blessed with many gifts and unlimited potential for service, but the gifts of the Spirit must be wrapped in the fruit of the Spirit for gifts to be useful and powerful in the body of Christ.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, remaining vibrantly connected to him guarantees the abundance of Christ-like character and the evidence of growing intimacy with him.
What does it look like for you to sit at the feet of Jesus?
I would love to hear your thoughts and practical examples. Please share in the comments below.