As followers of Christ, we all want to live a fruitful and spirit-filled life. The key to our success is learning to abide daily with Him. Abiding is our foundation for living a God-centered and abundant life.
Abiding is not a destination but a journey. As we focus each day on growing closer to Him, we grow in spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit is our “helper” along the way. Gratitude, obedience and a growing dependence upon Him are fruits of the abiding life.
John 15:4-5 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.
This passage provides a metaphor for our abiding relationship with Christ. Christ Himself is the vine and we are the branches. Abiding keeps us connected to the vine. At times we are tempted to pray, “Lord, help me to live my life for You.” Instead, we should pray, “Lord Jesus, live out Your life through me.” We have life because of our connectedness to the vine.
Verse 5 closes with “for without Me you can do nothing.” This means that without Christ, we can do nothing of eternal value. A vine branch is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. Its purpose is for bearing fruit —as long as it abides in the vine. When we are walking with Him, His life pours out of us producing the fruits of the Spirit.
We all experience a variety of seasons in our personal devotional lives. Some of these seasons are incredibly fruitful like Spring or Summer with a consistent growth of flowers and green grass. Other seasons seem like Fall when our intimacy with God declines. Winter arrives when we go stretches without real quality time with God. The great news is that He is always there waiting for us reach out to Him. When we get it right, it’s like a conversation that never ends. We never hang up the phone.
It’s been said that “the inspiration of God often requires the perspiration of man.” Our level of intensity and consistency in the pursuit of God produce the different seasons in our abiding journey. We are exactly as close to Him as we desire to be. If we hunger and thirst for a growing relationship with Him, it requires diligence on our part.
Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
The abiding life is a journey that leaves the handprints of God all over us. We grow more and more like Him – our highest calling in life.