Did you know there is an app that checks if a watermelon is ripe? And one that checks if you are brushing your teeth long enough? I have an app that tunes my guitar and one that checks if my RV is level. You may have apps to time your eggs and keep track of your exercise or just about anything else you can think of. But there is one thing for which there is no app: abiding or remaining in Jesus. Jesus said,
4 Remain in me [some translations say abide], as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)
Apps are temporary temporary tasks. But to abide, or to remain, means to make your home permanently in a place – in this case in Jesus. Abiding is not an app; it’s an operating system. The operating system in your smartphone is always on when the power is on. It under-girds and controls everything the phone does, including the apps. Abiding or remaining in Jesus is like that.
Jesus told us, “remain in Me, as I also remain in you.” How does He abide in us? He promised He would never leave us or forsake us. He doesn’t come and go for a visit or for a service call. He lives in us. He instructs us to make our home in Him like that, as a steady and permanent condition that controls everything else we do. When we pray, “Jesus, come help me bear fruit in this situation,” we are treating Him as an app instead of an operating system. Better yet to adopt Paul’s attitude, he expressed like this:
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20-21)