God is our protection and source of strength. He is always ready to help us in times of trouble. [Psalm 46:1 (ERV)]
“Restart the computer for complete protection,” was the message from my anti-virus program. Although I didn’t want to stop my writing for a reboot, I’ve come to realize, on technical issues at least, my computer knows best.
While waiting for the computer to restart, it occurred to me how much I’d like a similar program installed in my life. Instead of protecting me from computer viruses, it would protect me from temptation and sin. Like an anti-virus computer program, this sin protection would require a reboot for its installation and any updating. The biggest reboot in our lives, of course, is the life changing one of accepting Jesus. But, like our PCs, we sometimes get bugs in our software or, worse, simply crash. A spiritual reboot of confession and repentance is needed before God’s forgiveness can give us that necessary restart.
Once installed, this anti-sin program would scan our thoughts to keep any sinful ones from entering our minds, warn us of potential trouble, and have a firewall to protect us from any external threats to our spiritual well-being. Computer viruses, malware, worms, and hackers are nothing when compared to our real enemy: Satan. Mercifully, God has already provided an excellent anti-sin program and firewall in Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Unfortunately, a computer’s anti-virus program can’t defend against the bad judgment of its user and neither can our anti-sin program. It’s not God’s fault when we sin—we have only ourselves to blame for our poor choices. Anti-virus programs can also fail if the subscription isn’t current, leaving it vulnerable to the latest threats. The same goes for our anti-sin program; we need to have an on-going relationship with God for it to function. If we’re not connected to the Holy Spirit, there’s no chance of defeating the enemy.
My computer’s anti-virus program also performs regular tune-ups to keep my PC working efficiently and I’m all for including a spiritual tune-up in God’s anti-sin program. Prayer, Bible study and Christian fellowship are the elements of this spiritual service check which can keep us firm in our faith, help us discard our mind’s rubbish, encourage our service, bring God’s word to life, and guide us to be our best possible selves.
Because I’m not likely to remember to update my PC’s operating system and I don’t have the technical expertise to know what updates it really needs, I’ve opted for automatic updates on my computer. I’d prefer an automatic-update option on my spiritual operating system so that whenever something in my life needs a little tweaking or fixing it would get done effortlessly and automatically. Spiritual updates, however, aren’t quite that easy. They require prayer and effort on our part. Granted, we may be a bit short in the spiritual expertise department but, if we ask the Holy Spirit to show us what isn’t working properly or what needs to be changed, we can be sure He will. Once we ask, He’ll offer excellent tech support and instruct us on any repair or updating necessary to keep us well protected. Just remember, a reboot will probably be required.