(April 25, 1990)
Computer buffs soon discover that some software programs can be used in “resident mode.” That means they can be loaded into the RAM (random access memory) ahead of the program primarily used, and accessed whenever needed.
For instance, I have the text of the entire Bible in a program called GodSpeed. After it is loaded (in resident mode), I load my word processing software. As I type this column or other manuscripts, I sometimes want to insert a verse of Scripture. Instead of copying it from my Bible, all I have to do is type in the reference (in abbreviated form, such as joh 3:16 for John 3:16), hit two keys, called the “hot key”, at the same time, and the verse is instantly included in whatever I am writing.
This Bible program is not visible when in resident mode. Nothing on the screen indicates that it is in there, ready to go to work. Nevertheless, those verses are available when I want them.
Psalm 119:11 says “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” God wants us to put His Word into more than our personal computers. It’s our hearts that need it. When it is hidden there, we have instant access to that which will give us victory over the worst enemy we have, the sin that destroys our relationship with God and with others.
The process of putting Scripture in “resident mode” involves learning and relearning what it says, memorizing it, meditating on it, even teaching it to others. However, just filling our brain with the words on a page is not quite enough. As powerful as the Written Word is, for it to really do its job, we also need to obey it. For that, something else must also be in “resident mode.”
Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
This verse is an important “resident mode” aspect in the life of a Christian. Scriptures says only those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ can be called the children of God. It also says without Him, we can’t discern what the Bible means and will soon give up reading it, thus lose the battle with sin.
Having Christ first of all means having life: “He who has the Son has life but He who has not the Son of God has not life but the wrath of God abides on him.” Without Him, all we have is our own temporary existence and God’s wrath on our sin. However, the life of Christ is more than “fire insurance” against the judgment of God. He “gives us His divine nature” so we can have “all we need for life and godliness...” so we can “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3).
Putting the very disposition of Christ in “resident mode” in our heart means we can call on Him and His life will become evident in our life. His love, joy, peace and power are accessible. But even with that marvelous resource, Christians often forget to utilize the “hot key”, a combination of faith and humility. Christ can permeate all that we are and do only as both are activated. Faith simply trusts Him, first as Savior and Lord, and then to be there, as He promises, to meet our every need.
Humility is recognition that without Christ, no matter how adequate we might appear, we don’t have what it takes to please God. We must admit our falling short and our need; we can’t do it ourselves. Then, when both faith and humility work together, Christ comes out of “resident mode” and the power of His life gives us the victory.