In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in them, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.”
When we focus on abiding in Jesus, HE produces the fruit and good works. If our focus shifts to the fruit or good works, i.e., the ministry or the giftings, then the focus is wrong and, like the proverbial old locomotive that runs out of steam, we also will run out of steam. Our own power may still carry us a short distance, but at the end of the run, we can find ourselves exhausted, and like the locomotive, facing more work to get back to the right place.
The end of that run is not a pleasant place. It is uncomfortable to sit and wonder where the focus shifted from Christ to the work. After all, there’s so much work to do! It’s been said that we become vulnerable to mistakes when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are all emotional and physical states where we need to HALT! That’s where Jesus can meet us if we ask.
Abiding costs time.
Only Christ can provide the refueling necessary to restart the engine. The more time spent in the Word of God, the greater the opportunity for God to empty old ashes, replace them with new resources, and put us back on the right track.