It is Christ living in us who is our hope and glory. It is through Christ, through His Holy Spirit moving and working within us, that we have power and authority. In God all things are possible!
We know that God has chosen to live in us. To abide in us. Yet, are we aware that we are also meant to lean into God? To abide in Him?
Join us as we answer the question, “what does it mean to abide in Christ?”
What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?
John 15:1-8 talks about how Yeshua HaMashiach—Jesus Christ—is the True Vine and how His Father is the Vinedresser… but what does this have to do with abiding in Christ?
Our Messiah is the True Vine and His Father is the Vinedresser; we know this. But do we realize that we are branches connected to the True Vine? That through the True Vine we are given Living Water, we are given the ability to bear fruit.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”—John 15:4-5
Certainly, God is in us. He has chosen us to be His dwelling place—His temples. Yet, as Yeshua reminds us in this portion of the book of John… we also need to abide in Him. We need to choose to create a cohabitation with Christ; because YES, He is ready and willing to abide in us, but each of us has a free will. We do not have to abide in Him, thereby making a way for Him to abide in us. We do not have to bear fruit through this relationship; but it is better for us if we do. It is we who, through abiding in the Lord and He in us, gets the better end of the bargain.
But what does it mean to abide? Specifically, what does it mean to abide in Christ?
When we abide, we dwell. We remain. We are not shifting or unstable, but instead we stand firm, secure, and fixed. We are willing to live and stay; to inhabit and exist there.
If that abiding is done in the world rather than in God, the results are poor and a burden that weighs and wears us down. However, when that abiding is in Christ, it is a pleasant experience. We are able to produce good fruit that is a light to us and to others. It allows us to experience Living Water and all that we need. It creates a place where the Vinedresser—our Father and Yeshua’s Father—can prune away the things that could hurt or even destroy us, allowing new growth and better fruit.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”—John 15:9-10
God loves us. This is why He is ready to abide in us and why we ought to be equally ready to abide in Him. And one way for us to abide in God is to keep His commandments.
This is not always easy for people to do; after all, keeping commandments requires a certain level of obedience and surrender that reiterates that we are not god… only the One who created us is God. Thankfully, through the circumcision of the heart provided us by Yeshua’s precious Blood, we are able to keep God’s commandments. To surrender and allow God’s commandments to be engraved upon the tablets of our hearts. To walk as we were created to; in tandem with our great God!
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”—John 6:56
The choice is ours. God is ready to circumcise our hearts. To write His instruction in us, giving us His Holy Spirit to teach us what is God’s way and what is not. To make us whole. And that gift is ready for us to accept.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”—John 15:6-8
When we accept that gift. When we abide in Christ as He abides in us. Then instead of being cast out, instead of experiencing the death of the world… we are given new life. We are able to shift things. We bear good fruit. And we glorify the Father—our Father in Heaven—who loved us enough to let His Son experience that which He did not deserve…
It was for our sakes, and out of His great love. And we have the choice of accepting that precious gift or not. Of abiding in God, not simply so we can be saved, but so that we can have a relationship in and with Him!
Choosing to Abide in God
The choices we have to make vary; what scares us into complacency varies. Yet, we can each overcome! God is standing next to us, holding out His hand, waiting for us to take it and follow Him where He leads… waiting for us to abide in Him. He is our shelter, our provision, our great love. And choosing to abide in Him is never the wrong decision.
“Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
when my heart is overwhelmed;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.”— Psalm 61:1-4