1 John 15:4-9 ~ “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
Abide in Him! When I read this verse for the first time, it left me very confused. I didn’t quite understand what the word Abide meant because it had never been clearly defined for me, so I decided to do a little research in the Word to see what Christ says about abiding in Him. Abide means to “await, remain, dwell, continue, endure. Someone who will not leave the circumstances of which he finds himself – to take up permanent residence or to make ones self at home.” I have often heard this phrase used by women in the Christian community as a way to express rest, peace, or stillness. And something to be noticed is that abide is a verb; an action that must be performed or demonstrated. This word abide is in reference to a place, a time and/or a state or condition of being. To dwell in whatever circumstance one might be in, good or bad.
So how does one abide in Christ? Well, one thing to remember is that it is not about perfection. Living a life of righteousness and holiness every. single. day. is absolutely impossible for us to attain on our own. That is what Jesus was communicating in the scripture listed above. When you abide in Him, He will give you fruit. He will allow the fruit you bear to be bountiful and blessed. Just like He says in the verses, “…He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit…” What fruit is He talking about here? The very fruit of the Spirit established in Galatians chapter 5. “…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” We cannot and will not obtain these fruits unless we abide in Christ.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, but that still does not answer the question of HOW one can abide in Jesus.” Let’s take a look at the writings of Paul in Philippians 3:8-9. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” We must remember that the things of this world are truly not important. Money, success, beauty, fame, knowledge… It is absolutely worthless compared to the relationship we have with Christ.
This is where I explain the “how?” question you have been asking. “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.” John 15:10. To abide in Jesus is to remain obedient to His commandments, and keeping His commands is in turn loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. We do this by our faith in Him, by prayer, and our devotion to reading the Word. We pursue, pray, and obey Him which allows us to abide through relationship. The evidence of our relationship is found in our fruits, and our fruits in Him. It is a never ending cycle that always, always, always points back to Christ.
I watched a sermon once about being disconnected from the vine (Christ) and I believe that this would be a good way to explain today’s topic. He starts off by describing a couple having a sweet moment while at church. They were sitting beside each other, listening to the lesson being taught, and he leans over and starts playing with her hair. Gently running his fingers through her beautiful, long hair. And from time to time, she would do the same; softly run her fingers through his hair, showing a sweet affection toward one another. To most people, hair is absolutely beautiful. You can touch it, play with it, admire it. So many people compliment on one anthers hair. The curls, the color, the thickness, shiny, soft, the scent is pleasant. Hair is an attractive, beautiful thing.
Now, the moment the hair is disconnected, it instantly becomes repulsive. You absolutely do not want to touch it in any way, shape or form. I believe the examples he used were seeing hair in the shower; you pour water all around to get it down the drain but you make sure it doesn’t touch you. You have a hair in your food, disgusting. God has instilled in us to see and perceive things that are connected as beautiful, and as soon as they become disconnected, they loose their beauty and become disgusting. Just like a flower. While planted, it is connected in the soil, the roots receive nutrients and you can see the connection allows for beauty and growth. As soon as the flower becomes uprooted and is disconnected from its source of life, it slowly begins to wither, sometimes even mold, becoming disgusting and unpleasant.
All joking aside, Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches.” We are to be connected with Him, involved in a relationship that has a deep, real yearning for growth. When we abide in Him, there is beauty in the midst of pain, chaos and confusion. He is not only our savior but our provider. Abide! Be at peace with where He has you knowing that He is in control. Dwell in His presence even if things have made you confused or fearful. Continue to seek Him and what His will is for you, remaining obedient. Endure the suffering and temptation of the flesh, and run into His arms for protection. Abide! Abide! Abide! I pray this helps you all understand this verse a little more, because the Lord certainly used this to give me understanding. God bless you all!