Using a three-part strategy, God brought affliction to the body, computer troubles necessitating repair and eventually a clean install of the operating system, to demonstrate my need of a new operataing system in my Spirit, and intense daily reading of the Scriptures to reformat the hard disk of my mind!
The Spirit Operating System (SOS)
I desperately needed to replace my own completely defective OS. I said "replace", not repair.
God used my computer to bring this lesson home to me.
Over a period, my computer kept crashing repeatedly. Was it a hardware issue or a software issue? The computer hardware engineer tested and found the hardware functioning all right.. The XP operating system that runs my computer hardware had got corrupted: the NTLDR file could not be found. The operating system was corrupted. He said there would not be need to install the whole operating system, just to repair what needed repairing. The set up CD has an "R" option (for Repair). He ran the CD and selected the R-option. The setup program looked for missing and defective files, and reinstalled just those. When the Repair was complete, the computer was rebooted and it worked perfectly - for a while, several weeks in fact. Then CRASH - again!!! By this time I knew how to repair the system. So I did. After weeks, CRASH!!! Repair. A few more weeks, CRASH!!! Repair.
The next time this happened, the hardware engineer prescribed a "clean install". Not only the XP but every program on the system was erased! The disk was reformatted (reduced to the state of a blank book with ruled lines - tracks - on the pages, but no program and no data on the tracks). And then the operating system was installed on the reformatted disk.
With all that, there were things the XP couldn't do. We would need to upgrade to an altogether new operating system: perhaps Windows 8 or MAC OS, or yet another operating system.
There are available a number of software enhancers, or APPS, that add speed or functionality to existing programs. download accelerators, for example, disk defragmenters, etc..
Many people do something similar when they encounter difficulties, or when they get emotionally or mentally disturbed. They use time management systems, life management systems, life-coaching services, self-improvement books and tapes. But all these are like extensions or overlays, APPS, on the existing OS which is fundamentally corrupt.
Our first parents were gifted by God with an incorrupt, perfectly functioning operating system in body, soul and spirit. When Eve was deceived by Satan and Adam followed Eve in her sin, their OS got corrupted. They lost their radiance, and their ability to relate with God in an unhindered way. They wanted to hide from God, and to cover the nakedness left when their radiance which was God's image shining through their spirits and out of their bodies, was suddenly gone from view.
Over the course of the next 9 centuries, the corruption in their OS grew, and their bodies wore out and eventually died.
The succeeding generations also died out. And over centuries their life spans also declined. And their characters declined to such an extent that God found only 8 people in a well populated but violent and lascivious world were worth saving: Noah, his wife, his three sone and their wives.
A telescoped view of the history of man's relationship with God can be found in Telecopic Views (see left panel).
The history of the human race has culminated in the world of today whose state boils down to one fundamental fact: mankind is incapable of plesing God.
But Jesus the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father God died to provide IN HIMSELF the rescue package needed. Get that: IN HIM! Not YOU. Entirely completely God, with nothing of YOU but your willingness.
Jesus told us “No one is good except God alone“? Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19
We hide away the simple truth with all kinds of human theories and beliefs. We fool ourselves because this truth is unpalatable to our souls.
Yet, trust in SELF is everywhere!
There’s a fear of letting go of our own understanding and ability. There’s a self-dependency that pretends to be holy. There’s an arrogant trust in our own mental and physical talents! We seem to think that God will be impressed if we do something good or right; we won’t let ourselves see the true depravity of our situation, and how incapable we are of doing anything “for God.”
Trying to obey, striving to be good, working for him, offering up our talents to his service – none of this is truly biblical Christianity.
You may ask: Aren’t you talking about non-Christians, people who are NOT born again?
I take it that, in Bibloscope, I am talking predominantly to Christians, born again believers. We tend to think it’s others who depend on self. Yet how many of us Christians really grasp the fundamental and basic gospel truth?
How many are in there in the churches, even in the leadership of the churches, “trying their best”, following systems, struggling with sin and failure, lamenting their weakness, feeling like they are failing God most of the time (or even, conversely, making a stupendous "success" of some kind of ministry - by their own efforts)?
How many of us are worn out with trying and failing? How many in despair of ever finding the secret to an abundant, victorious, triumphant Christian life?
The fact is: Those who are in the flesh CANNOT please God. Romans 8:7-8
How many of us accept the text of the bible about this, but have no understanding of the experience of it? It is possible to be a Christian for many years and still be “in the flesh”, not know how to live without it, yet trying to please God in the flesh. like trying to run Android apps - or Windows programs - on an Apple Mac.
How many repeat the words about being born again, about our death in Jesus on the Cross, about dying to self, about walking in Him, without a daily experience of those things? Without even an understanding of them?
SOS - the SPIRIT's OS
After 40 years as a born-again, water-baptized, Spirit-baptized Christian and six years since starting work on Bibloscope, I lived a Christian lifestyle, was well regarded by those who knew me or heard me preach and teach, but, in effect, I had downloaded and installed a lot of Christian Apps to my old OS of Flesh. Yes, the things I thought, planned, did, the way I lived was running in the strength of the Flesh!
And all these years I sincerely believed that was all there was and is. My conversation with Christians and reading a lot of Christian books shows me that most Christians think that way.
They have Christian ways and beliefs running on their computer, and becoming a major part of it,and they are all set. Yet in the background are the same routines running, and the same habits prevailing, and this is seen in the way they react when caught off guard. Sometimes they feel so "burnt out" as they work hard for God that their mental, emotional and spiritual computer “crashes”.
May I lovingly switch from "they" and "their" to "you" and "your"? The foundation of your Operating System is still the same old code you had before. Okay, you added the God Apps, but God never asked us to add the Christian app to OUR systems. In most ways those apps are incompatible anyway. They never work correctly or fully. They are designed for ANOTHER OS.
God has pronounced the entire Operating System of Man defunct, incapable, unstable, incapable (whatever word you care to apply, and in the case of Microsoft Windows you are already getting the point :) ) No matter how you tweak it or dress it up, YOU are incompatible with GOD.
I didn’t suggest you destroy the hardware, the computer! God didn’t write off the hardware, just what’s running on it.
This might come as a shock, if everything you do depends on that old OS. All your work, all your carefully honed programs, all your data – everything is there. Why would God ask you to delete all that. Surely he wouldn’t? What a WASTE!
It’s so hard to let go of the self-delusion that we are so important to God that He can’t do without us. It cuts into our human pride and self-esteem to think of ourselves as completely worthless, fit only for death!
Yet that’s exactly what God said. And it took me forty years and a lot of experience with computer crashes to find that out.
The heart of man is irredeemably wicked [Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick..."], and “no good thing” resides in his flesh. [For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Rom 7:18-19]
God doesn’t want to improve you, he wants to KILL YOU OFF. Isn’t that what we learned from the Son of God? Jesus did not start a massive improvement plan on earth, in fact he went out of his way to avoid it. Jesus didn’t come with a rulebook or a system to restore righteousness on earth. What he did was come to present himself as a sacrifice, to take the OLD to the grave, and leave it there.
BUT. and here's the great and joyful BUT: Jesus did not remain in the grave. The cardinal truth is that, in rising from death, he provided IN HIMSELF, all that is needed for victorious human living on the far side of the Cross. He offers to take you to death with him, and raise you again with him. ALL that is necessary for life and godliness has been provided in Jesus (by means of the Holy Spirit of God) to resurrect our worthlessness and fill it with godly life.
Colossians 2:13 – “And you, who were DEAD in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made ALIVE together with HIM [and in Him], having forgiven us all our trespasses…”
Is your old life given over to God, and laid in the grave with Jesus?
Is your body, soul and spirit now filled to the full with the new life of Jesus?
Did you leave your self life in the grave?
Did you receive the new life of God?
To put this in terms of what I learned from my computer crashes, what needs to be done is a complete reformat and clean install of the SOS - the Spirit's Operating System.
When a clean install was forced upon me to get my physical computer functioning properly, there was the scary moment when I had uninstalled/formatted your drives and now all you have is a black screen with a couple of lines of white text. At that point, between the old OS and the new, I felt like I had lost everything. There is the fear: Will something go wrong and I’ll never get my computer back? I trusted my son the software engineer, and the hardware engineer we had engaged.
And my faith worked! within the day my computer was up and running better than ever, with a fast clean install. My son and the engineer tell me that next year I would be upgraded to a higher operating system, and, of course, I’ll need to get used to a new way of working, but in time everything will become like second nature, and I will get along famously with the new system.
This is similar to the process of surrendering yourself to God. Some who are “Christians” in fact have NEVER done this, and need to (in effect) start from scratch. Others need a reinstall to reboot into a clean system after being contaminated with a virus, or so much bad software that nothing works.
But at some stage we ALL (yes, every one of us) need to lay down (uninstall, reformat) the OLD nature that has been in charge, and with that scary black screen in front of our tear-stained eyes, allow the Lord to install HIS “operating system” instead.
“Allow” because we cannot do it for ourselves. It is God's nature given to us by God. It makes us sons of God. The nature of God is a free gift for which we humbly ask, having fully repented of all our old self-willed ways. It definitely is not a good deed that we try to do for ourselves.
Afterwards, not only will everything run properly, but it runs without our interference. But remember, unlike in the computer, you have no “administrator rights”! Are you comfortable with that? Do you trust God that much? Can you keep “hands off” and just let God run things? If not, it’s time for a complete reappraisal of how much you love and need God in your life.
You receive this divine nature by faith (by repenting, believing and confessing Jesus as your Savior), and you retain it by faith. And everything that you need you receive as long as you remain IN HIM by faith. Victory, Understanding, Wisdom, Righteousness, Love for others, Power and ability: all things are yours, and you are Christ's and Christ is God's.
(1 Cor 1:29-31; 3:21-23)
Christ Our Righteousness
God is called “The LORD Our Righteousness” (Jer. 33:16) and “Jesus Christ IS our righteousness” (1Corinthians 1:30).
The bible doesn’t say that becoming a Christian – as if it’s something clever that we did – makes us righteous; but we become the “righteousness of God” only by allowing Jesus the Lord to live in, and act in and through us.
We rest in HIM. We abide in HIM. By daily exercise of faith. That is the only biblical route.
The Spirit of God operates through the Word of God. He always did (In Genesis 1, "the Spirit of God moved - the word can also be translated "brooded" - over the waters, and God said ..."} So the Word of God is a fundamental part of our operating system: it gives us a mentality, it controls us and it shows us the way. For us to accomplish our daily tasks we need the Spirit and the Word that enables us to perform our daily functions. We must always be online through daily faith and meditation or the Word to come to us with the light of the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit of God and the Word of God are ruling over our lives, God's righteousness will be operating in our lives. Looked at in another way, God’s righteousness is His “operating system.” It governs everything we know and see…and everything we don’t. When we seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness (Matthew 6:33), we become an “authorized application” in His “program.” Those who ignore this are “unauthorized applications,” because they are yoked to the wrong “operating system” and, thus, cannot function properly…like Windows programs trying to run on a Mac. When we are faithful about seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, we become an integral part of His “operating system,” that is, we become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)!
And I hope I have learned it well, and the rest of my life will bear it out.