If your computer is acting strangely, for example running slowly or not loading applications properly, you can restore it to the factory settings to fix it. Sometimes this means you have to erase all of the files on it and start over. Do you ever feel like that’s exactly what you need? Does the idea of erasing all the files and starting over sound like a pretty good deal? Do you ever feel like you’ve gone so far down the wrong path, or tweaked one too many things that shouldn’t have been tweaked. Messed with stuff that shouldn’t have been messed with, downloaded bogus applications or inadvertently exposed yourself to spyware? I feel like this from time to time. That’s what I love about the faith I’ve chosen. It provides a way to start over. To restore my heart, my soul, my mind, to the factory settings God originally intended.
The initial re-boot occurs in a life that chooses to accept by faith that Jesus Christ made a pathway to friendship with God through the work of the cross. At that moment of choice, all the old nastiness is erased and instantly replaced with a clean heart. A total do-over! It’s all very mystical and mysterious in how it works, I only know that it does. I know that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. With that new life we are given the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling in us. If we want to continue with the computer analogy, we could say we have “Intel inside.”
Unfortunately, in our very human humanness, we are totally going to mess this deal up. God made it so simple and beautiful, but we will inevitably start running unauthorized or incompatible applications and our functionality will suffer. It manifests itself as anxiety, hostility, depression, confusion, insecurity, doubt, selfishness and all other shades of shadow living. When I find myself in the muck, I remember God has made provisions for my ineptitude, and I grasp at the lifelines that have rescued me time and time again;
Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Allowing God to renew my mind. Giving God full and complete access to my darkest thoughts. I know that the bulk of my present reality is determined in the theatre of my mind, so if I’m wallowing in yuck, it’s only through the renewing of my mind I will find peace.
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
I practice thinking about the good things, the blessings, remembering how God has come through for me in the past.
Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
Restored to factory settings, I am in perfect and beautiful communion with the Divine. I am steady, and my feet are on firm ground. I’m so glad that I have an unlimited number of do-overs and that God has made provisions the failure that is certain as long as my soul occupies this human body. The fact that I’m going to make mistakes is a given, but I do not need to be crippled by them, nor do I need to be shrouded in guilt. God has handled all that already through Jesus Christ. I need only to live in the light of God’s grace and cling to God’s love when I find myself in need of restoration.
Would you like to be restored to factory settings? Whether this is your first time putting this mysterious faith to the test, or your 794th do-over, God stands ready to erase the infected files and replace them with pure goodness. Sound too good to be true? Give it a try and see what happens!