Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
Dick Mills used to say I can’t make it happen but I can watch it happen. What did he mean by that? If you are dynamically connected to Christ and just stay there, fruit is certain. How much fruit, what kind of fruit, or how big the fruit is not within our ability to determine. That lies in the hands of God. What can I do? Just abide, stay connected, just rest in my organic relation to Him. If I abide in Him I will bare fruit, that fruit will be the beautiful work of God. Here is how Watchman Nee explains it.
“These familiar words remind us that it is God who has placed us in Christ. We are there, and we are told to stay there! It was God’s own act, and we are to abide by it. “Abide in me, and I in you.” This is a double sentence: a command matched by a promise. That is to say, there is an objective and a subjective side to God’s working, and the subjective depends on the objective; the “I in you” is the outcome of our abiding in Him. We need to guard against being overanxious about the subjective side of things, as though a branch of the vine should strive to produce grapes of a particular size or color. We need to dwell upon the objective—“Abide in me”—and let God take care of the outcome. And this He has undertaken to do. The character of the fruit is always determined by the Vine.”
How do I abide? What did Jesus mean by abiding in the vine? All a vine has to do to bare fruit is to stay connected to the rest of the plant. It is the same with us. We stay connected to Christ in three basic ways. First, by spending lots of time reading and searching the written word. This is our life and a major source of the life that flows into us. Secondly, focus on the Son of God. Worship and draw near to Him. The very presence of the Spirit flows from Him into us. Finally, stay closely connected to His body, the local church. This is where Christ flows into us as we are in relationship with His body. Remove the branch from the vine and it dies, remove a believer from the body and he dies. Remain in Him and fruit is certain.