Resetting to factory default

Sabbath for man-flattenedIn 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.

5 thoughts on “Resetting to factory default

  1. Thanks Mark for a good article.
    Very needed advice at this moment in my life.
    Appreciate it a lot.
    Please keep writing, the analogy with computers fit just right on.

    • GB you too. Glad to know these are a blessing. This thought came to me about “resetting to factory default” kind of all of a sudden. So I wrote it up and when I opened my little book to find a picture, I opened exactly to the picture you see with this, out of a choice of 365. So it’s nice to know that the Lord is giving little nudges and prompts and keeping this going. The Daniel 8 video should be up on YouTube in 2 to 3 weeks. Greetings to your sweet family.

  2. Dear Mark

    Interesting analogy. Pushing the reset button. Or maybe even reformat the whole system?

    Although in principle this is true and there are indeed many similarities, in practical life there are also differences that must not be overlooked.

    There are the seeming harmless applications or updates that congest and slow down, even paralyze our operation. Some updates, while offered as improvements they in fact intentionally reduce functions, thereby rendering the system less useful, or even sometimes cause serious harm.

    Just like a computer system can be overcome by malware, which can bring on fatal failure with untold problems and expenses in the wake, the same thing can also happen to humans. Critical loss of data, disabling or corruption of the OS or parts of it, software conflicts, all sorts of trouble can be caused by malware and degenerated updates.

    The problem with humans, whether ‘infected’ with degraded or useless updates, or whatever, it is not a given thing that we will even realize what is happening to us. Most likely we won’t.
    The reason: These harmful updates or useless applications added slowly over the years often has the effect that they create illusions, numbing and paralysis, thus essentially and effectively prohibiting system repair. While they often may appear tempting new improvements or better tools they may just be cheap imitations of the real thing, or even directly prohibited, but often we won’t know, or how it all is supposed to work unless we know the manual pretty well.
    Illusions are erroneous or skewed perceptions of beliefs or of reality. Numbness and paralysis is the perpetuation in that condition due to the effects of illusions.

    Therefore, rolling back, resetting or reformatting our system requires that we 1) have clear access to the unspoiled original operating manual, the Bible, and 2) realize we have installed harmful software 3) know how the system is supposed to function, understand the need for action, take it to heart and act on it and 3) do it before fatal failure sets in.

    While the computer has no will of it’s own, is managed and totally under the control of it’s master, not so with the human. We are free agents and God will not coerce us into anything, and thus all are accountable for our words and deeds.

    The operating instructions, maintenance and repair manual all rolled into one, and that we can always trust, is provided in the Bible… and as a safe baseline principle and assumption, yes, usually we are in need of maintenance.
    All updates that veer off the Bible, or contradict the known and trusted scriptures, is not to be trusted, hence not to be installed or we will have trouble. And indeed there are many vendors pushing problem software.

    “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Ephesians 4:14 (KJV)

    • The wonderful thing is that we have the best, most user friendly Developer there is, God Himself. He said, “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you don’t know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) God’s Call Center is really and truly 24/7. No matter how far we’ve screwed up the codes, if we let Him know and ask for His Help Center to work on it, He can even send some heavenly Geeks to take us all apart and back together again, if we let them. Like He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Our contract never runs out. So if we sincerely ask for help, we’ll get it. And get restored, even if this can sometimes take a while.

      • True, God is far the best developer of all, and we have the necessary access available. It is up to us to make sure we are linked up. It is not a given thing.

        And true, He will not forsake us, but… we certainly can forsake Him, it is quite possible, even likely.
        “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2.
        Examples of this abound. See also Romans 11: 17-24.

        About the Geeks, I am not too sure it works that way. Who are the these geeks? It seems, according to scripture, if we mess up, the more important thing to do is to repent and come back to God for forgiveness.

        You say: “Our contract never runs out”. Again, as with ‘He will not forsake you’, God does not cancel our contract, but if we break it he is not bound to abide by it. It is reciprocal.

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