I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:5
If we want to glorify God with our lives, if we want the supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding, if we want wisdom and discernment, strength in our trials, if we want answer our prayers, then we must abide in Him. Otherwise, the hard truth is we shouldn’t be looking for Him.
John gives a startling visual of what not abiding looks like in the very next verses. "If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6). Just like a plant that dies, it doesn't shrivel up overnight - it comes from neglect over time. If we neglect our relationship with God over time, if we don't spend time with Him, in His church, in His Word, or with a community of believers, then our faith will begin to shrivel up as well. When we put other things before Him, our roots, or our foundation, don’t receive the nourishment they need and life becomes overwhelming and exhausting.
If we continue reading John 15, we learn that abiding in Jesus means to keep his commandments, and to keep his commandments means to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
If we are to grab ahold of the incredible promise in this passage, that we can ask whatever we wish and it will be granted, then we need to take a hard look at where we are not abiding in Him. I know my abiding in Him has increased and decreased in my life over the years, but He always bring me back to this central truth. He will allow trials in our lives to bring us back to Him. When we are walking through trials, the reality is we pray more and we search His Word more for these truths. We are reminded in those moments that we must be abiding in Him if we hope to see our prayers answered, and so it is in those trials that we begin to search our hearts for where we are not abiding.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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