“Abiding in Christ is a vital necessity in our Christian walk. That is what sustains our spiritual life.”
Have you ever read a scripture in the Bible before – one that you’ve probably read several times – and all of a sudden you see something you’ve never seen before? As I was reading John 15 recently in the Amplified Bible, this word “vital” seemed to jump off the page at me. It’s not an uncommon word, and not one that we often give much thought to. We have vital organs (the ones that are indispensable and we can’t live without). Food, water and rest are vital in order to sustain life. Babies, the elderly and disabled require care from others – this is vital to sustain their lives. Combat gear is vital to those going into a war zone. Something that is vital is something that’s absolutely necessary, of utmost importance, essential and required to sustain life.
Then I began to think about my everyday life. Do I do what’s vitally important every day, or do I go through the motions and do those things that I think demand my attention every day? If you had three buckets – a “Vital” bucket, an “Important” bucket and an “If there’s time” bucket – how would you categorize the things you do in a day, or even a week, using these buckets? Of course nourishment for our bodies is vital, taking care of our children is vital, and then you have house work, laundry, yard work – and the list goes on. As we begin to fill up these buckets, we may find that we may need to re-prioritize some things, like which bucket does God go in?
I can’t stress to you how vital it is to spend time with the Lord, but I want to take it a step further. John 15 – the vine and branches – is a chapter that’s very familiar. (Sometimes it makes us a little uncomfortable when we read about the branches that are cut off.) However, there are two words I want to focus on in this chapter – dwell (or abide in KJV) and vital (which is used in the Amplified version). Verses 4 and 5 read “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” The King James Version says “Abide in Me” which means to stay, dwell, or continue. Our home is where we dwell, it’s our permanent residence. Christ should be our “permanent residence” as well. It should be of vital importance that we dwell in Him and are vitally united to Him. When we dwell in Him, He’s in every part of our life, 24/7. He guides and directs us, He nourishes us – as a matter of fact Psalm 23 pretty much sums it up.
We can’t walk in the fullness of God and live a victorious life if we’re not vitally dwelling in Him. In 2 Chronicles 20:2 (this is one of my favorite chapters) Jehoshaphat “set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord”. I encourage you to read the whole chapter, but he wins the battle – without lifting a sword! Where you decide to “dwell” is a decision only you can make. You can be satisfied with visiting every now and then, “if there’s time”, or you can decide to make Christ your permanent residence – this is what sustains our spiritual life. Where will you decide to live?
“If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
John 15:8 (Amplified)