Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Note 49 at Joh 15:4: The word "abide" stresses consistency. Going through spells where we really seek God will not substitute for abiding in God. This is one major reason why more Christians don't experience the abundant life that Jesus came to bring (Joh 10:10). Most people only really abide in Jesus when the going gets tough. Then when the pressure lets up, they relax and go back to doing their own thing, and that hastens the next crisis.
Note 50 at Joh 15:4: This is a very profound truth that is the key to bearing fruit, but it is so easy to forget. Because the fruit is borne on the branch, it is easy to credit the branch with the fruit, when it is the vine that drew the life from the earth and channeled it through the branch.
Likewise, since we are the branches through which the life of God flows, we sometimes think that it is our own holiness that produces the fruit. The moment we think that way, we are no longer abiding (trusting in, clinging to) in the vine, and we will become fruitless if we persist in that mindset.
This is actually a great relief if we understand this and apply it properly. It puts all the responsibility on Jesus. Our only responsibility is to respond to His ability. Just like we have never seen a branch travailing to bring forth fruit, all we have to do is labor to rest (trust and depend) completely on Jesus as our source (Heb 4:11). If we abide in Him, fruit is natural.