Doing Life with Jesus
Doing life with Jesus is impossible if we do not abide. But that does not mean we do nothing. Listen in in this concluding episode on what it means to abide in Christ.
The scripture of the day is taken from John 15:5-8
“I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples.”
Doing Life with Jesus means abidiing
It is impossible for a plant to bear fruit if it is cut off from the root system of a plant. In much the same way, we cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit if we are not planted in God’s word. Abiding. There’s that word again.
We all should want to bear fruit, right? But we do not want to be motivated by the fruit itself. No one wants to get to the end of their life and say they’ve got nothing to show for it. But bearing fruit requires pruning, sowing, nourishing, and the sun.
Pruning is one of the harder aspects of abiding. We don’t like to have to remove anything, we want everything that we can have. But pruning is a way of taking off things that are preventing us from bearing fruit. They might even be good distractions, but without pruning we will not see the most fruit in our lives. We need to abide because we cannot bear fruit on our own.
Sowing seeds requires planning.
We need to know the best time to sow in certain seasons of our lives. Some seasons might require rest or healing. Other seasons might be more active. But as we truly abide in Christ, we understand and follow Christ’s lead. We were not meant to constantly bear. There are seasons where we will be building and developing. So abiding is not always producing fruit that everyone else can see, but it is producing fruit within us.
We cannot grow if we are not nourished physically or spiritually. Author Anjuli Pascale shared about the need to stay and to go to God in the midst of the pain instead of avoiding it. Basically, “Doing life with God”, being dependent upon Him. Even when we are not wildly bearing fruit, God is at work. But we are nourished when we are connected to God in an intimate way through his word and through prayer.
So what does abiding look like in our life? Sometimes we can get imagery in our minds that abiding means basically doing nothing, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. Abiding means we are tuned in to God. He might send us on an assignment we did not anticipate, but as we abide and seek his direction, we don’t waste time by trying to figure it out on our own.
Abiding in Christ affects our work. In my ministry, there are a lot of endeavors that I have going on at the same time. God inspires and gives ideas, but I know that if I am not abiding in Christ, that me trying to carry out the work that God has put on my heart in my own strength will produce poor fruit. And so I get my marching orders from God, but I go to him to ask him how he wants me to carry it out.
In hard times.
So how do we Abide in Christ when life is upside down? When hard times hit, the temptation is to try to do things on our own. We don’t know how to function sometimes. Abiding in Christ again does not mean we do nothing, but it means I rely on God and not my own understanding.
In our relationships, abiding with Christ means we want to have the same attitude that He did. We see this in Philippians 2:5-8
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Abiding in Christ in our relationships means we ask God for wisdom when people around us sin. We show grace and forgiveness.
Webster defines abide as “to accept or act in accordance with”. Doing life with Jesus means we accept His Lordship over our lives. Nothing is outside of His influence.
1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
Friends, this is not a good work, but it is abiding. As we seek God and ask for help, we abide in His strength and not our own.
And the fruit is a beautiful, joyful life in Christ.
It is marked by love.
John 15:10, “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.”
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
1 John 3:6, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”
You’ve been listening to the Seeing Deep podcast where we dive into the word of God for the answers to life’s problems.
Check out these podcast posts from this month on abiding: