In the Gospel of John, there is a very powerful passage in the 15th chapter that talks about our need for “abiding in Christ”.
So, what does that mean? That’s a great question and an important one.
Think of a tree and think of a branch of that tree. That right there, in all its simplicity is what is being described. If we want to grow closer to God (and stay there), it involves our staying connected to Him. Whenever we have an attitude of pride or independence where we go on our own, apart from God, its like we have just cut our self off as a branch from the the tree. Now, what is the chance of that branch surviving on its own for very long? And, what good can really come from our life in a way contrary to the Word of God?
Let’s look at “abiding in Christ” from another point of view.
Is going to church 2 X a year (Easter and Christmas) enough for a person wanting to “abide in Christ”?
Let’s bump it up a bit– Will attending a church service once a week now fulfill the meaning of “abiding in Christ”?
Okay for those who really want to ramp things up, is having a daily quiet time enough to “abide in Christ”?
I believe going weekly to church and having a daily quiet time are very important, however, I still don’t think they really address the heart of what it means to “abide in Christ”.
For example, can a branch ever be separate from the tree and be healthy? No.
Can a branch be duct-taped to a tree trunk and be healthy? Even though its in a close proximity to the trunk, the answer is still no.
Like a cut off branch from a tree, please don’t think you can do the Christian life apart from its source: God.
To be a healthy branch, it needs to be “all in”. It needs to be “in” the tree all the time, not just in and out . The branch needs to be engrafted in to the trunk, so that it can derive its nutrients and very life to survive. Without that “all the time” connection the branch can not live. Its that serious. Fruit will only be born in that kind of environment.
So, my friend, to abide in Christ is a 24/7 pursuit. Its a continual longing to not stray from our source of life- God. It means to be dependent on Him. It means having a hunger to be in His Word daily, and to be obedient to His truths as they are revealed to you. It means seeking to be led by Him throughout the day.
It means seeking to be aware of how God wants us to act and react throughout our day?
As we develop more consistently in walking in this kind of way, our joy grows as we increasingly bear fruit and as we are aware of His life coursing through our senses.