Abiding in The Vine
John 15:4-5 (ESV)
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
The Passover meal had just been eaten, the first communion taken and Jesus had just finished washing the disciples' feet. With full stomachs, clean feet and an ominous sense of foreboding at all the dire warnings and words Jesus had said regarding His coming death, the disciples heard the words of today's scripture verse next.
Can you imagine the struggle that these men had trying to wrap their minds around all of the events that were happening so quickly, one right after the other. I am sure, their heads were spinning. I can almost see them reclining and whispering to one another, "Did He say Abide in Him?"
Yes, Jesus most certainly did...and it is one of the most profound statements because it contains the KEY to walking with Him and using the gifts that He has given us for His Glory and within His timing, which is always perfect.
What Does It Mean To Abide?
The dictionary definition of "ABIDE" that's applicable to this passage, lists these words to describe the term: to remain, to persist, and to hold on.
We are to remain, persist and hold on to Jesus! Every second of every minute of every day.
Jesus used the analogy of a grapevine...and then declared that He IS the vine and we are the branches. In Him we will bear much fruit and apart from Him, we can do nothing.
Let all of that sink in to your mind, your emotions and your spirit for a few moments. How do you feel about that? Does it sit well or do you find yourself squirming a little bit. It's hard to remember to wait for God's timing...His still small voice saying, "Wait" or "Not Yet" or even "No".
How good are you at abiding? I am fair on good days and poor on the rest. The fact is our days are filled with distractions. Lots of distractions!
Computers, tablets, cell phones - all streaming social media platforms that are addictive. Then there are our jobs, our spouses, our children and/or grandchildren and our pets. Of course we all have chores around the house - the never ending mountains of dishes and laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the floors...the list goes on.
How Can We Abide in Christ Consistently?
First and foremost, we must not neglect beginning our day with the Lord by reading our Bible. Don't just stop at reading the Word...study it, memorize key verses and meditating on them. Follow this with spending time in praise and worship, which aligns our spirits with His. Finally, we must pray!
These three disciplines are the spiritual food our souls and spirits need and too many of us are starving.