Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Operating Systems

Windows or Mac?

Apple or Android?

Operating systems are the technological buzzwords of this generation; every device that we can't live without anymore has one. That system is what tells your pc, tablet, or phone how it will accomplish the task you need it to; it's the interface it uses to connect with the rest of the world.

We have an operating system as well, and it can be boiled down to two platforms:

Fear or Trust.

Any time we are confronted with a decision, our answer comes from one of these two places. It may not look like it, but fear and trust are at the root of our responses. Are we going to trust God, or are we going to fear whatever consequences might arise and let doubt and worry be the controlling partners in our lives?

I had a conversation with someone who is on the edge of a life-altering meeting. There is no doubt that this interaction will change lives, many of them. But the emotion that went into the decision was centered on what might go wrong in the aftermath. Watching this person consider all the possible negative outcomes showed me that fear was the operating system hardwired into his heart.

Lucky for all of us that God is in the heart changing business.

God knew we would struggle with fear, and the Bible contains at least 366 references to fear and how to handle it.

  • We must learn how to capture our thoughts, identify them, and see where they line up with Scripture. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. That means we take our thoughts by the hand and walk them over to Jesus for close personal inspection. Does our thought pattern glorify God? Does it acknowledge His power? Does it speak to the hope that He brings to every situation? No? Then replace it with one that does. This scripture also reminds us that our battles are not with the world in general but with the darkness that surrounds us and fights against God. Don't allow yourself to be a pawn in a fight that's already been won.
  • We must learn to focus on what is actually going on, the real details in that moment, and not get spun up in the what if's. It's amazing how quickly we work ourselves up into a state of dread based on a series of events that have only taken place in our imagination. Take the little butterfly net of Philippians 4:8-9 out of your toolbox and grab those thoughts. Focus on whatever is true, whatever is holy, whatever is good, commendable, or praiseworthy, and think on these things. The promise? The God of peace will be with you. 
  • We must learn that God is not on the sidelines, flipping through our lives like a bored guy with a remote. He is intimately, intensely, and unmistakably involved in each of our lives, and He has promised to never leave us. He knows what scenarios are coming our way. Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6, and Isaiah 43:1-3 are some of my go-to places when I need a reminder of God's intentions and capabilities.  
Now, trusting God is not a license to run around without prudence or wisdom, and there are plenty of verses dealing with seeking the Lord's wisdom that we can talk about another day. But when you find yourself holding back from the abundant life that Jesus offers because you are afraid, consider your operating system. Are you trusting God to deliver His best in your life, or are you fearing the worst and missing out?

Maybe it's time for an upgrade.

No comments:

Post a Comment