Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me…He who abides in me, and I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:4, 5b
Now I understand what ‘abide ‘means. There is currently a child who is “abiding” in me. He eats what I eat and drinks what I drink. Her sustenance is based upon my health and well-being (realizing that God is the one who truly sustains). He goes where I go. She rests, dwells, and makes herself at home in me. He abides.
In the hustle of life, it can be tempting to do everything but abide in Christ. We are efficient, effective, successful, proud, and…exhausted. We have bought into the lie that we indeed “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” So, we strive, toiling for glimpses of satisfaction, rest, peace and comfort, yet strangely find these out of our reach. We abide, but in the wrong things.
Abiding gives the connotation of resting, dwelling, or “making yourself at home” in something or someone. In reality, we all abide in something – our abilities, our education, our money, our looks, our jobs. There is something we regularly choose to depend upon, to rest in, that we mistakenly expect to bring about the results we desire.
And yet, according to God’s word, the key to true fruitful living is found in abiding, in resting – in Jesus. He is the one who works in us to will and act according to His good purpose. By choosing to spend time with Him, pray to Him, talk to Him, worship Him, listen to Him, obey Him, and follow Him, we find peace, purpose and joy. In the end, this is what matters.
Learning to abide,