Guest Post by Jennifer H. Yates @ www.JenniferHYates.com
I’ve never been much for wearing hats. Don’t get me wrong; I like hats. They look great on other people. Me—not so much. But truthfully, I wear a lot of hats. I bet you do, too.
As women, we often serve many roles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, boss, church worker, home designer, chauffeur, chef, coach, homework assistant, shall I continue?
How can we as women function in all these capacities in a manner that is fruitful and productive?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV 84).
We can find the word remain in John 15 eleven times! The Greek word used here is meno, which means “to stay, remain, live, dwell, abide; to be in a state that begins and continues” (The NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance).
In other words, apart from Jesus, we can’t live a fruitful life. We must remain in Him, and that means we need to “begin and continue” our day with Him.
We need to begin our day with Jesus.
We can’t remain somewhere we haven’t first been. Our day must begin with the Lord. If you are a mom of littles, finding space in the mornings can be extra difficult, but I encourage you to find a few minutes to at least read a short devotional.
“Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Even Jesus needed to start His day with the Father, and so do we. Starting our day with Jesus gives us the opportunity for a fresh start every single day—a chance to come clean of any sin in our lives and commit a new day to Him for His glory.
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
We can come to Him with our needs and petitions, letting go of anxiety and fear.
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).
I know we are not all morning people, and there’s no condemnation for those who just can’t find time in the mornings; but I do know from experience that any sacrifice we make for Him is worth it. We may need to get up fifteen minutes earlier, seek Him during our kids’ naptime, or make our lunch hour our quiet time.
Remember, we can do nothing without Him—not a few things or some things. No thing. If we want to be fruitful and productive in our day, we need to begin with Jesus.
We need to continue in Christ.
Remember the Greek word for remain means to begin and continue in something. If we are to remain in Him, we will have to continue to keep our minds on Jesus throughout the day.
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5).
With all the many responsibilities we carry each day, how can we practically live out this mandate to keep our minds “set on what the Spirit desires”?
I believe three elements are key to a mind set on the Spirit: the Word, obedience, and faith.
First, we have to spend time in the Word to know what is pleasing to the Spirit of God.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
As we study the Word through our daily quiet time, Bible study, and sermons, we will have a mind that is being renewed daily from our old way of thinking to the mind of Christ.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).
Second, we must obey what we learn from God’s truth.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
Jesus told His disciples that if they would listen to His Words and “put them into practice,” they would be building their lives on a solid foundation that would withstand the storms of life (Matthew 7:24-27).
Third, we need faith to believe that God will be with us and equip us for whatever we face each day. The stress of daily responsibilities and the pull of the world’s temptation will quickly wear us out if we don’t lean by faith on Him.
“We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
We have to trust that He is in us, with us, and working in our lives to accomplish His divine purposes. As we learn to walk with Him by faith, we will grow in understanding of His ways and awareness of His presence.
Remaining in Jesus throughout the day means that we continue to walk in His Word with faith and obedience, living moment by moment in the truths His Word reveals.
We were chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
No matter how many hats we are juggling, our daily goal is to bear fruit—to live a life that bears witness to the love, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ. Whether we are building a family, a career, a ministry, or a business, our primary role is to build the Kingdom.
We can’t be on mission with God unless we are starting each day with Jesus and remaining with Him as we go. Folding laundry, changing diapers, caring for an elderly parent, singing in the choir, growing a business, loving our families, or leading a small group—none of it will bear fruit apart from Him; but all of it can be done with a spirit of love, joy, and peace, testifying to the goodness of our God.
So, go ahead and wear all those hats today, but remember to sit at His feet a little while first. Then you will have the power you need to wear them well.
Looking for a good daily devotional for your quiet time with Jesus? Check out my latest book, Drawing Ever Closer: 365 Days of Transforming Truth, available now on Amazon.
Jennifer Hayes Yates is a wife, mama, writer, and speaker with an empty nest and a Southern accent. Having taught in Christian education for twenty-two years, she has a passion for communicating God’s truth and inspiring others to seek Him.
Jennifer is now a blogger, best-selling author, and passionate speaker. She serves in her church as a Sunday school teacher and music director and leads a small group of awesome ladies in Bible study at her home.
Lover of all things Jesus, books, and coffee, she can be found in quiet corners or busy spaces, sipping lattes, studying commentaries, and chatting up strangers.
Jennifer has now published three best sellers: Seek Him First: How to Hear from God, Walk in His Will, and Change Your World; Let’s Run: Running the Race with Faith and Perseverance; and Inside Out and Upside Down: How Intimacy with Jesus Changes Everything.
But she’s still just a small-town girl hoping to glorify God in all she writes and make a few disciples along the way.
You can follow Jennifer on Facebook, Instagram, and at JenniferHYates.com.