“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4, NIV).
“Abide in me, and I in you,” the King James Version reads. Abide. Remain. Whichever word is used, we are instructed to stay in God's presence. It is in His presence where we are transformed and where we find the sustenance which brings an abundant harvest in our lives. David Wilkerson in his book “Secrets of the Vine” shares about abiding in God’s presence. “Abiding is an act of faith―a radical expression that you value God's unrestricted presence in your life more than any immediate sensation. If you think you must always have strong feelings to know that you have been with God, you will go away from your devoted times disappointed. Before long you will say that abiding did not work for me.'”
Did you catch what David Wilkerson reveals in this quote, and the depths that revelation imparts? Abiding in Jesus Christ is an act of faith but also an act of will. If you want more of God in your life, you choose by faith to believe He will honor the time that you devote to Him. When you make Him your first priority, abiding in Him becomes an act of willing surrender. You might also notice that David Wilkerson uses the word “devoted” times instead of “devotional” times. He does this to emphasize the fact that your time with God is one that should be “set apart” just for Him—devoted only to Him. Your time with God is not just a time to be stirred emotionally by a devotional, but a time completely given to Him—a time that spiritually changes you. Abiding in God's presence is not based on a feeling. It is a time of intimate sharing and not the tingling sensation of a feeling. Sometimes there will a feeling of joyful wonder in presence of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes not. In your “devoted times” abiding with the Holy Spirit transforms and prunes your life for spiritual growth and maturity. Eventually you will reach a place where abiding in Jesus becomes more than just being with Him during a “devoted time”. With an insatiable hunger you shall discover the truth of what the psalmist wrote. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV).
Remain in Him, and He promises to remain in you. To live an abundant life for Him repent and turn from anything that stands in the way of your relationship with Him. If your life is filled with selfish things that keep you from discovering your potential in Him, you will be pruned and your priorities set straight so that He can bring forth abundance in your life. In times of disciplining and pruning, He acts. But in the time of abiding, you act. When you choose to abide in Him, He then abides in you and transform your life. Your relationship with Him has the promise of bringing the greatest joy and assurance that nothing can touch or destroy. Walking in His Spirit can be your way of life—when you abide in Him.
-Lynn Hampton Lacher