Learning To Abide

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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 15:4-5

Many believers are puzzled by spiritual growth, and I believe the concept of 'abiding' is at the heart of this confusion. Let me break down why:

  1. Abiding is Unfamiliar: For many believers, abiding in Christ is a new and mysterious concept. It's a profound connection between you and Jesus, one that's not easily described. How do you maintain this unseen connection? That's a question that challenges many.
  2. Abiding Demands Complete Trust: Abiding means giving up your independent control and letting Jesus take the lead. This is a radical shift in thinking for some, and it's not easily embraced.
  3. Abiding Requires a Whole New Approach: The concept of abiding means that you must unlearn old ways and embrace a new process. It boils down to one activity – abiding – that leads to spiritual growth. This idea might seem too simple to be true, but it's the cornerstone of spiritual vitality.

Abiding is the simplest, strangest, and most surprising aspect of spiritual life, as it's tied only to Jesus. You aren't the vine; you don't supply the nutrients; Jesus does it all. When you abide, he works through you, and the fruit that is produced isn't your doing. You are a branch grafted into him, living and producing fruit through his power. It's a challenge to grasp this, but it's crucial.

In our world, effort equals reward. You work, you get paid; you succeed, you're rewarded. But spiritual life doesn't work that way. Growth isn't about what you do; it's about what Jesus does. Your effort means nothing unless connected to him. And when it is, you can't even take credit for it. And all of this is radically different from the thinking and processes of this world, which requires a whole new mindset: constant and consistent abiding in Jesus.

Abide in Jesus today. Let the spiritual nutrients of spiritual truth flow through your connection to Jesus. When they do you'll produce fruit. But give him credit and then you'll understand what it means to abide.


  1. How do you personally define "abiding" in Christ, and what specific steps can you take to deepen this profound connection? Consider the unfamiliarity and the complete trust required, as described in the devotional. What challenges do you anticipate, and how might you overcome them?
  2. The concept of abiding demands a radical shift from the way we perceive effort and reward in our worldly lives. How do you feel about letting go of control and allowing Jesus to work through you? Reflect on any resistance you might feel, and think about what practices or thoughts might help you embrace this new approach to spiritual growth.

DO THIS: Assess and abide.

PRAY THIS: Lord, teach me to abide in you, to trust fully in your guidance, and to embrace the unfamiliar path that leads me closer to you. May I unlearn my ways and learn to rest in your grace, knowing that it is not my effort, but your work in me that bears fruit. Amen.

PLAY THIS: I Will Abide.

short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

6 thoughts on “Learning To Abide

  1. Robert Willbanks says:

    Hey Vince,

    Commenting on this one a day late but this is one of my favorite topics…

    I find myself striving most days – and have to intentionally shift my focus towards abiding. I think this is the progression of relationship with Christ via prayer, the Word of God, small group and church. The more I turn to Him in my daily walk, the deeper the relationship gets and the more I yearn for more. My mindset shifts from “earning” to “yearning”.

    I’ve coined a phrase for myself: “Striving to Abide” If I can point my striving at abiding, maybe I have a chance… 😉


  2. Sheldon says:

    Thanks for the reminder
    Abiding for me is to be at home, rest.
    My prayer is that I would let go and allow God to take control of every area of my life.

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