Remain in The Vine

about the author

Andrea Olson is a worship leader, recording artist, coach and founder of Overflow Worship, a ministry for Worship Leaders and entire teams.  Andrea (with family in tow) travels the Midwest  leading worship, training teams and equipping church leaders with practical tools to thrive in ministry. Andrea continues to release new songs for the church to sing and new resources on overflowresource.com, which she started in 2020, to help churches train their leaders and worship teams.

The Gratitude Series

This blog in the Gratitude Series was written from the heart of worship leader and Overflow Resource founder, Andrea Olson.

Gratitude is at the heart of Overflow Resource. Join us as we walk through life marked with gratitude for our Savior. Whether you are a worship leaders, worship team member, ministry volunteer, or simply love the Church, welcome! We’re glad you’re here.

Questions? Interested in booking Andrea for a team workshop? EMAIL US HERE

We are in a challenging time, with a lot of unknowns. The thing I keep hearing, over and over again, is there is a lot of fear. And we all know life can be filled with many moments where we are fearful-fearful of change, of unknown parts of the future, or a current situation where circumstances bring us to a place of fear.

I’ve been hearing this from various people and for various reasons. Some are obvious to what’s going on in the world and some are simply personal reasons. I believe that the enemy is working overtime on people’s hearts and minds, trying to lead them to a place where they think fear is okay and just a part of life. But I want to speak against that. I believe it’s important to speak truth out loud and over our lives. That fear does not have a place in our lives and fear is not from the Lord. Fear is from the enemy. Now there is a different type of fear of the Lord. And that’s different than what we are talking about here. I’m talking about the kind that is crippling and causes you to be anxious or be worried. That is not the way the Lord wants us to operate and live our lives.

I want to encourage you to speak it out, “Fear doesn’t have a place in my life.” Say it out loud. Doing that, takes the authority that the enemy is trying to have and rips it out of his hands and away from him. We have that power in the name of Jesus, so when we speak that out in his name, fear has to leave. I encourage you in that as we refocus today. I believe that shifting our mind and perspective all begins in gratitude and that is our focus. You’ve read it over and over again, but we don’t always have to be grateful for the situation, but we can be grateful in the situation. There is a big difference in that subtle word change. I encourage you for the refocus part of this, to declaring truth out loud and put that in your mind and heart. And the other thing I’ve been hearing from others is that people need hope. We all need hope. Again, we don’t have to go very far to see the challenges and struggles we are facing as a nation and world. You can fill in the blanks as that applies to your situation, but people need hope. And I want to take these opportunities to bring you a little bit of hope and encouragement.

Things are looking gloomy and bleak, but God is still on the throne. He hasn’t changed. We’ve heard that a thousand times, but I say it again because when we speak it out loud there is power in it. And so maybe you need to speak that out loud today and throughout your week. Everything is going to be okay because God is on the throne. That is a powerful mindset for us to have and it’s so needed because it will help us navigate the days and weeks to come.

Whatever you’re facing speak it out loud, “fear doesn’t have a place and God is on the throne.” I know it can seem like the phrase “everything is going to be okay”, it can feel trite. Because everyone’s definition is a little different. But my heart in this is not to pat you on the back and send you off or trying to blanket comment. I want you to walk away from this with a perspective shift that things are really going to be okay. And these little phrases are things you can do to implement and keep your mind in a good spot.

This blog I want to share about where to go from here. Where do we go from here? How do we walk and live that everything is going to be okay? When will it be okay? I don’t know, but God is the same yesterday today and forever. We have that promise and it hasn’t changed. Whatever we are facing, He remains faithful!

Where do we go from here? I was praying and seeking God about what to share. And John 15:4 came to mind. It’s something I read earlier today, and it stuck with me.

John 15:4 TPT “So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.”

I love this other version as well, the NIRV which is a simpler version for children to understand and it says,

“Remain joined to me, just as I also remain joined to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain joined to the vine. In the same way, you can’t bear fruit unless you remain joined to me.”

So where do we go from here? We remain in life-union with the giver of life, the source of life. That is the only way we can navigate through any trial that life throws our way. Now here’s the thing, the season of 2020 has been really hard, but I don’t hate 2020. I’m grateful in it. Because God has done so much in my heart and in my family’s lives. We have faced a lot of hard as a family. But even so, when we ask ourselves this question, we begin to see things through a new light and a new perspective.

I believe that is what God wants for us. When we come to hard season and trials, when we ask different questions, God reveals new things to us. But if we keep asking the same question over and over, we can get stuck in a rut. I encourage you in that, first think about this season with a lens of not despising it, but asking the Lord, what do you want me to see? In the future there will be good and hard and if we can learn how to remain in the vine in this season, it will be easier in the future. If we made it through 2020, we can get through anything.

I challenge you to think on that verse this week and to remind yourself to remain in the life-union with Jesus. That means that everyday maybe you get up and say “God, what do you have for me today? Holy Spirit what’s on your heart?” I love that. It’s taking all the focus off of me and the things that I want and saying God I want to know what’s on your heart. I want to be aligned in that and be aware. As it says in the NIRV “Remain joined to me…No branch can bear fruit by itself.” We need Him. We need the source of life.

In homeschooling my kids we’ve talked about the purpose of the leaf, branch and tree. And we’ve discussed where the life comes from, where the water flows in and through and why the leaf dies when it falls off the source of life. So I encourage you to remember that we need Jesus. We need him as we walk through this season. Often when trials come our tendency is to want to run away and detach, but that is one of the worse things we can do. Maybe you need to begin to ask different questions. Holy Spirit what’s on your heart? What do you have for me this week? How do I remain in life union with you? When we ask the different questions, it turns the perspective from us and our own desires to his.

Where do we go from here? We walk it out. Step by step. One moment at a time. Because this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s life! I want to be in a place where I am consistently investing in making myself stronger in my spiritual life and it applies also to physical and emotional life. So that when the hard times come, I have a foundation to stand on and I don’t cut myself off from the source of life. I know that is what I need to survive. I want to encourage and challenge you with that. And then as you think about these things, think about choosing gratitude among our circumstances. Not grateful for everything but in everything. For me, I’m really grateful for time with my family and family time at home. I’m also very grateful for technology to keep us connected. It’s the little things.
As a family we go around the dinner table and say things that we are grateful for. And I’m so blessed by my 3-year-old who is starting to process and say things she is grateful for. She’s beginning to choose things that aren’t just what her older sisters say, but she’s beginning to develop a thankful heart and that is something I am so grateful for. Wherever you are at, whatever you are doing, close your eyes and sincerely tell God what you are grateful for today. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Tell him something you are genuinely grateful for. From there, ask God how to stay close to him. And if you’re like me, take some time to journal and write these things down. Combat the enemy with journaling the truth of God’s words so that you have something to look back and remind yourself with. It will be reminder later that the Lord does want to speak to you and will speak to you.

We may not be grateful for every situation, but we can be grateful in every situation.