“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
The purpose of a vine is to bear fruit through its branches. The quality and quantity of that fruit depends upon branches being strong and healthy. So, it’s good to assess our spiritual health as branches every now and then. Maintaining healthy fellowship with the Lord is the result of abiding in Him. The question is how do we abide in Christ?
First, we must know God’s Word. “If you abide in Me and my words abide in you…(v7a). What Jesus is talking about goes beyond the mere exercise of reading the Bible. It’s engaging Scripture with our minds and hearts by meditating on its meaning and internalizing its truth. This process is similar to digesting physical nutrients. Digesting God’s Word brings its truth alive deep within us, guiding how we think and even what we desire.
As a result, we pray in the right manner, “…ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (v7b). What a bold statement! If our prayers appear to go unanswered, then we need to think about where our desires and requests may not be aligned with God’s Word. If we’re going to abide in Christ, then prayer is essential. It’s how Jesus becomes a familiar friend. And because prayer is a conversation, we not only talk to Him but humbly worship who He is and carefully listen to what He says.
Abiding also involves obedience. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (v10). Jesus set the perfect example, teaching us that there’s no such thing as abiding without obeying. When we abide in Christ, God works through us as well as in us. We serve the Lord’s purpose in the same way a branch serves the purpose of the vine. His commands come from a heart full of love. In turn, we obey because we love Him.
As Christians, we have the life of Christ just as a branch has the life of the vine. Yet, the fact that Jesus tells us to abide means it’s a willful choice. Are you enjoying healthy fellowship with Jesus? Spiritual health requires nurturing. So, how will you abide in Christ this week?