Over the past two months, I have spent most of my days evaluating my life ambitions. After recently completing my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of West Indies, I have been asking myself this question; what does success look like for me at this moment? I know the popular opinion would be to get a well-paying job. However, how should I respond after being unemployed for four months and counting? Am I doing something wrong? Am I looking in the wrong places? What happens if I am unemployed, but I am not anxious, depressed, or sad about it? Does this mean I lack a clear direction for my life? As I ponder these questions, I have witnessed the Holy Spirit exposing the transience of my ambitions and propelling me towards a better ambition. However, what is this better ambition?
Recently, I was watching an Instagram live interview involving Priscilla Shirer. Towards the end of the interview, Priscilla spoke about the diligence of her recently deceased mother, Lois Evans, in pursuing her life-long ambition of abiding in Christ. She passionately described her mother’s persistence in wanting to emulate Christ in every single area of her life. I was left inspired after this session. I didn’t know which was more appealing, the passion with which Priscilla described her mother or how simple and attainable yet impactful her mother’s life was. I was led to believe that this was the better way of living that the Holy Spirit was propelling me to; but what does this look like in my current situation?
Jesus is the Vine, abide in him.
In John chapter 15 verse 5, Jesus told his disciples that he is the Vine and that they are the branches. He reassured them that whoever remains in him would produce much fruit and that their lives would be fruitless without him. But how do I remain in him? In Galatians chapter 5 verse 16, Paul told the church in Galatia that by walking in the Spirit they will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Therefore, by walking in the spirit, I would be remaining in him, and by remaining in him, I am producing much fruit and thus proving to be a disciple of Christ.
This leads back to the question that was stated earlier. What does success look like for me at this moment? My answer is to abide in Christ so that I may produce much fruit and prove to be his disciple. Sounds tweetable, doesn’t it? But what does this mean? It means to be persistent in my satisfaction with being likened to Jesus Christ. A life where I am continuously delighting in God doing whatever it takes to propel me to conform to his will. Where in moments of habitual sin, I am confident that his grace is sufficient and that by his power I remain ceaseless in pressing towards him. Unlike fruits of this world e.g., money, cars, family, and awards, which are bittersweet, this fruitful living is what the Father delights in.
There is value in prioritizing Fruitful living
In Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42. Jesus was welcomed into the home of Mary and Martha. Of the two sisters, Mary prioritized sitting at Jesus’s feet and hearing what he had to say versus Martha who was distracted by her efforts in trying to make her home hospitable for her guests. Martha became upset that Mary wasn’t helping her and questioned whether Jesus cared that she wasn’t. However, Jesus highlighted that Mary made the right choice and that this would not be taken away from her. A career, family and other assets are great fruits to enjoy while living on this earth, but it is not all we live for. We are encouraged to abide in Christ so that when He appears, we may appear blameless and be unashamed before Him at His coming (1st John chapter 2 verse 28). Furthermore, we live to be fruitful, not only in parenting, generating wealth and navigating intimate relationships, but in love, truth, righteousness, and hope. Having a heart that beats for the lost, according to Christin Caine.
Hence, like a faithful soldier, I will carry on the mantle that Lois Evans persisted in. I will live to abide in Christ hence committing my life to fruitful living. Walking by the spirit irrespective of my status in life. So yes, as of the writing of this article, I am unemployed, but I am no loser. I am not unambitious because the fruits of my goal may not appeal to the eyes of many. Instead, I will persist in what is necessary for people to see, know and accept the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
“For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their God is their stomach; Their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things. But our CITIZENSHIP is in Heaven, for which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians chapter 3 verses 18-20.
Be encouraged to abide in Christ until he comes. Happy New year!
Akeel Henry is a prisoner of hope. He enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained biochemist who aspires to become a medical doctor and pastor in the future. He believes that the secret to contentment is a moment by moment dependence on God’s grace, power and provisions.