In a recent post on my other web site, I wrote about “The Operating System”. Your computer probably runs Windows but maybe it’s a Mac or you run Linux. This is the basic system that operates your computer and is the platform on which all the software you use works from.
But often, everything means something. The same way there’s darkness and light, there’s Darkness and Light. There’s the sun but also there’s the Son and the Bible likens the sun to God’s Son. (Psalms 19:4-6)
So my “Operating System” is the regenerated heart and spirit that I received when I accepted Jesus into my life, as well as all the truth and power that flooded into my life at that time and continually since then. Today’s modern computers in some ways are a reflection of spiritual realities.
And the same way that Windows or Apple send out upgrades from time to time, God can and does sometime send us “new wine” (Luke 5:37) and tweaks and apps with the intention to improve our experience.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Most of us are pretty thankful for our computers as they help us do quite a lot we couldn’t do before. But every time there’s a new upgrade or a new package to install, do you always do it? In fact, not all of them are from the Manufacturer of your Operating System. Many are from vendors and software programs, promising you some great new boost to your experience if you’ll just download their program.
Maybe one time you did that and your computer jammed. There were viruses. It was a scam. Or maybe it was legitimate but so complicated or took so much Ram and hard drive space that it seemed like it just wasn’t worth it. It didn’t improve your experience, no matter what they said.
Maybe somebody liked it but your computer just ran slower and slower. You were confused, a little worried and you just really didn’t like this new thing that you were told was going to be so great. All kinds of things you could do before now didn’t work with the new upgrade.
Well, most computers come with an option that you can “reset to factory default”. You can go back to the original that was working pretty well when you first got it. You may lose some programs but your computer will work again. You may not have the latest and the greatest new thing. But you’ll be back to something that worked well and helped you to get the job done.
That can happen sometimes in your Christian life. You may have a time when you need to go back to the factory default. I’ve had to do that a few times, just to stay alive for the Lord. The latest and the greatest just didn’t work well for me.
I was at a seminar a few days ago and a couple admitted in public to a large audience that they were still using Windows XP. They were a little ashamed but probably everyone understood. XP was the operating system Windows released in 2001. It was perhaps the best since Windows 95. Most people found it just very rarely crashed.
But then the next one that was released was Windows Vista in 2006. Many people, myself included, found it to be difficult, slow, and a consumer of vast amounts of Ram and hard drive space. So those folks were still using what is considered a very old operating system. But it works well for them.
The main thing isn’t that you get the latest upgrade or program. The main thing is that you can use what you’ve got to interact with God and man and to serve God and man as well. Are you having trouble with your operating system? Have you had so many upgrades and packages installed that it hardly even works for you anymore? Maybe you need to reset to the factory default.
Was there a time when it really worked great and you were really getting something done with it? Maybe those settings are better for you, even if the company is telling you that you’re really behind the times. Old isn’t always bad and new isn’t always good. Or like Jesus said, “The operating system was made for man and not man for the operating system.” (Mark 2:27) That wasn’t quite the way He phrased it but I think the idea was similar.
Find what works for you within the packages of God. Upgrades are great. But some upgrades may be over your head, not totally essential or even from untrustworthy vendors. That’s why it says in Hebrews 13:9 “Don’t be carried about with different and strange doctrines, for it is good for the heart to be established with grace, not with foods, in which those who have walked in them were not helped.”
And don’t throw your computer out with the malware. Don’t through the baby out with the bathwater either. Hit “reset to factory default” and keep going for the Lord in a mode you find works for you and helps you to stay alive and fruitful for Him.