HOW TO ABIDE
“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” John 15:4
YBH. I often write in the margins of books as I read. It’s harder to do when I read on the kindle or iPad, but one of the most common things I find myself thinking and writing as I read is YBH. Yes, but how?
Often I agree with some truth or exhortation, but I don’t know how to do it. “Abide in me if you want to bear fruit.” Ok. How? Jesus actually gives two answers in the verse. First, as he abides in us. Second, as a branch abides in the vine.
How does he abide in us?
He abides in us as the very life that animates us. His Spirit is the sap coursing through our veins. He is the stock out of which we grow. As he constantly communicates himself to us, we must reciprocate in ongoing communication back and forth. I think this is what the apostle Paul meant when he told us to “Pray without ceasing”.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV).
What would it look like for you to keep the lines of communication back and forth open all day as you take Jesus with you into your life? How can you stay consciously attentive to him? He is always consciously with you. Are you with him?
How does a branch abide in a vine?
What is the relationship of branch to vine? Close. Connected. Rooted in. An extension of. We must constantly receive life from him and stay connected to him. Jesus goes on to make it clear that we do this rejoicing in his love, obeying his commands, and bearing his fruit. We have no life and no fruit apart from him. A branch disconnected from the vine only has value as firewood.
Today as I work, I will remember to stay intentionally connected to the source of life and fruit. I will abide in him by soaking in his love, obeying his commands, and letting him produce the fruit in me and through me. My only job is to hold on for dear life to the vine as the wind blows or the fruit gets heavy.
Here are three of my favorite apps that help me practice abiding in Christ.