"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
- John 15:4 (NIV)
Have you ever attempted to do something that you knew in your heart wasn't right? You probably struggled against the grain, trying to prove to yourself and everyone else that you could do it. But in the end, you relinquished your hold and let go of the thing you held on to for so long, ending up empty-handed.
When we step outside the will of God, we usually end up that way: empty, barren, fruitless. Ironically, we also usually stand around, scratching our head, wondering why the end result is so poor.
The scary thing is, when God tells us to do something and we refuse, walk away, and follow after our own lusts, He can pluck us from the vine. Matthew (chapter 21) gives us an example of Jesus cursing a fruitless fig tree. He was hungry and noticed a fig tree, but the tree bore no fruit, and was only filled with leaves. When Jesus told the tree it would never bear fruit again, the tree immediately withered and died.
I don't want to be like that fruitless fig tree. I want to bear sweet, healthy, hearty fruit for Jesus. But the only way I can do that is if I stay in Him. I have to stay in the body of Christ. I must seek after God's will and be willing to be an obedient servant when He instructs me.