How Do We Abide in Christ?

 

Every so often, I come across some profound truth of Scripture and think, Here it is, surely this is the secret to the Christian life.

Abiding in Christ

Today it’s “Abide in Me,” the “secret” of the fruitful life. Now, I know that for most of you it’s no brainer, but today, for me it’s new, it’s fresh, and it’s the “secret” I needed to stumble upon.

Now, we know that “abiding” in Christ means:

  • Continual fellowship with God

  • Fruit bearing in increasing measure

  • Answered prayer

Still, I wonder if we fully understand what it means to “abide” in Christ,  because abiding also implies rest.

  • Resting in the security of God’s faithfulness. (We don’t hang on to the Vine, the Vine supports and holds us.)

  • Resting in the joy of communing with God. (Through our union with Christ, the Vine.)

  • Resting in trustful submission to God’s authority. (Through ongoing obedience that keeps the living sap moving, flowing, and fruitful.)

Yet abiding is a paradox, for it’s a productive place that is devoid of “trying.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I get confused. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to seed my own little vine in God’s vineyard when I’m supposed to be a branch that grows out of the Vine itself.

Abiding in Christ picture

In my efforts to be near Him, I miss abiding in Him.

That leads me to wonder how much of our lack of spiritual fruit is the result of striving to live near Christ instead of abiding in Him? How much of our lack is from trying to manufacture “fruit” in the vineyard, instead of bearing it in the Vine?

It’s through the vigor of the Vine alone that the branches grow. And it’s only through the sap springing from the Vine that each branch yield’s a harvest.

Abiding in Christ

Yes, abiding in the Vine is indeed a good place, a peaceful place.

And here is the “secret” I needed for today: Abide in the Vine, not near it–and yield “much fruit” for the Father’s glory!

 

 

How about you? What fresh view of truth has God given you?

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Microsoft Office Online
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Comments 8

  1. I think I’m going to have to ponder the “living near” vs. “abiding in” idea. I think you are right…I’m just going to have to take a little time to ponder it. Thanks, Bethany.

  2. Ouch! Your statement, “I spend a lot of time and energy trying to seed my own little vine in God’s vineyard when I’m supposed to be a branch that grows out of the Vine itself” really hit home. Sigh. Abiding is all about resting, but in struggling against my natural desires, it’s a lot of work! 🙂

    1. You made me laugh–in rueful agreement! Trying to “rest” IS a lot of work! 🙂

  3. As always, wonderful devotion! For me the truth of “death to self” has been a revelation that continues to offer new, simple perspectives that I had missed in past years. When I read your devotion and began to answer your question this quote jumped out, pulling the “vine”, “fruit” and “death to self” together. “Humility is the blossom of which death to self is the fruit.” – Andrew Murray Humility is to give-up my “self” taking the place of nothingness before God. Murray also said, “Humble yourself unto death (of self)–it is in the death to self that humility is perfected.” Abiding in Him cultivates perfect humility leading to the death of my old “self.” True humility will then manifest itself in all I do, say and think in a new nature, a new self, the fruit of His Spirit. Blessings, luke

    1. “Humility is the blossom of which death to self is the fruit.” A truth to roll around the mind and meditate on. Abiding does require humility. I never thought of that. We do have to step out of the way, release all our own “skills, talents” and such, and simply be conduits of God’s work–for that is what it is; HIS. Thanks for a great reminder.

  4. Great point. Living near Christ is not the same as abiding in Him.

    As for truths He’s taught me. I always read this passage and thought
    “bearing fruit” meant “doing good works” for the Lord. Then I realized I experience the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy, patience, etc., to a greater degree when I’m abiding in Him. In other words, my outward actions and character are all the product of abiding in Christ.

    1. Thanks for your great insight. The fruit we seek is the product of abiding, not “producing.” Why is is so hard?

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