“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
To abide in Christ means to remain as one with Him. We are to bear the fruit of Christ, walking in the example He has given us. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said if anyone desires to come after Him, to become a follower of Christ, which would be the same as abiding in Him; we must deny self, take up our cross and follow Him. For years I spent most of my time teaching people to deny self and take up their cross, but I missed the most important part.
Do you have a desire to follow after Jesus? Without that desire you won’t deny self nor take up your cross. The word “desire” means to be resolved or determined to fulfill a purpose, to delight in. If you want to abide in Christ you must have a determined purpose to follow Christ. It is what you take delight in, meaning you have this resolve with a “want to” attitude, not a “have to” attitude.
That desire will help you deny self, the old nature when it becomes difficult to do so. That desire will cause you to take up your cross, to fulfill God’s will for your life when the old fleshly nature wants to do something else instead. Cultivate a desire in your heart to abide in Jesus and you will bear much fruit (become Christ-like).