John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
The word abide uniquely describes our practical walk in Christ. This one word combines the idea of continuance and the idea of residence. As to our position in Christ, we are sealed by the Spirit and can never be removed. However, as to our walk, we can live and act outside of Christ by going our own way and living according to our own flesh.
These verses tell us to strive to remain in Christ in our daily walk. They also tell us to make this walk our permanent residence. We are to abide in “Christ, who is our life” (Colossians 3:4). Paul testified, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Though this is a command for all believers, how critical it for those who lead others in the way of the Lord. You are to be an example to the believers. Others are supposed to be able to pattern their life after yours. They do not need to see your talent and abilities; they need to see the life of Christ in you. And how can they see Christ in you if you are not abiding in Him?
- Are you resting fully in the sufficiency of Christ?
Do you cherish the time you spend with Him?
- Do you know His presence in your daily walk?
- Are you consciously looking to Him for guidance in your hourly decisions?
- Do you rely upon Him in all your efforts?
- Can He easily turn you another direction when His will deems it necessary?
- Do you minister to others from the life of Christ in you?
- Do you know the peace that passes all understanding?
We work so hard and yet our efforts settle on the floor having accomplished nothing. We feel intense frustration over unaccomplished goals and struggle with days that are both too short and too long. What is the answer? Where can we get off this merry-go-round?
The answer is to abide in Christ. His days are always long enough. His efforts always accomplish exactly what He pleases. He always knows the best use of an hour; of a dollar; of a talent. A life lived in Him cannot be in vain.
- Spend time with Him. In Bible study and prayerbut in meditation also. Make this time a priority. Recognize its importance. Know that failure to spend time with God is failure in everything.
- Then, learn to lean upon your Saviour moment by moment through each day. Go to bed with Him on your heart. Wake up with Him. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. In short, abide in Him. He is your strength, your guide and your help. His strength is sufficient.
And, when you cease to abide in Him, recognize this as the source of your failure. You did not fail in this decision or in that decision. You did not fail in your attitude or even in the sin you committed. You failed when you began to live your own life in your own strength. Return to Christ. Abide in Him. If you would minister to others, you must abide in Christ.