What does it mean to abide? The dictionary defines abiding as staying, living, or dwelling. When the Bible speaks of abiding it usually speaks of abiding in someone rather than something. It usually speaks of abiding in Christ. And totally boggles the mind. Our minds can comprehend staying with someone or near someone. When it comes to staying or living in someone, that is beyond our understanding. How can you stay or live in someone? This is something that our human brains will never be able to digest. Still, it is a biblical truth that we must explore in order to get what God wants to communicate to us.
When Jesus spoke of abiding in him he compared himself to a vine and those who believe in him as branches connected to that vine. Abiding in Christ means staying connected to him. It goes beyond being around him. It is even more than just being surrounded by his people or things that belong to him. Abiding in Christ means maintaining a connection with him that is so strong you cannot tell where he ends and you begin. To get a little more insight into what it means to abide we must consider the words of Paul to the centurion and the soldiers who were transporting him to Rome “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (Acts 27:31). In the story those on board the ship were caught in a storm and were afraid they were going to crash into rocks on the shore. Some of the soldiers were about to escape in secret, and Paul told them unless they stayed with the ship they could not be saved. The word stay in the King James Version is translated “abide.” It means to stay or remain. The destiny of the ship would be the destiny of those on board. If the ship would be safe then the crew and passengers would be safe as well. This is what it means to abide in Christ. His destiny is our destiny and his life is our life. We must remain connected to him.