In my job, I see many sick computers. There are several ways computers can start to fail. Sometimes malicious software (malware) and viruses can infect a machine and grind its processors to a halt. At other times, they have been running too long and need to restart to clean out the junk which clutters their memory. An especially aggravating malady to afflict our computers at work is that they quit trusting the domain. When that trust relationship fails, they will no longer allow users to log on. I requires being taken off the domain and reintroducing the computer to the domain in order to get them to trust each other again.
As I was deep into administering some TLC to a cart of computers this week, it struck me that similar things can interfere in our walk with the Lord.
Sin is far worse than any virus/malware at bringing destruction. It interrupts our communication with God. Sin starts destroying our testimony, and left unchecked (repented of), it leads to the destruction of our lives.
There are also times in my life in which I need a fresh start. The junk in life starts to clutter my mind and distract me from God’s purpose. It is good to occasionally clear out the junk which distracts us and wastes our resources.
Finally, many lose their trust relationship with God. They forget their place in the Kingdom. Like the prodigal son, they move on and forget their heavenly Father. It never changes the fact that God is their Father, but they get out in the pigpens of the world and need to be reintroduced. They need to remember who they are and what God has provided for them.
Hopefully, we will learn from the machines and not let sin contaminate, junk to clutter, and trust to wane.
Have you ever had to confess something? I am talking about walking up to someone, admitting you are at fault, and waiting for them to pass judgment. I have faced those circumstances a few times in my life. One time I particular that comes to mind happened late one night as I was coming home from college. It was after a basketball game. I was part of an unofficial cheering section called front row lunatics at Jacksonville College. We painted logos in our faces and yelled our lungs out cheering on our Jaguars. As I drove through the city of Kemp, TX, I noticed red lights in my mirror. I moved to the right lane and kept driving thinking it was and ambulance or fire truck in the distance, but they stayed behind me. I finally realized they were waiting for me to pull over before passing. I was stunned when they parked behind me and I discovered it was a police car. I received my one and only ticket that night. He probably did not know what to think of me sitting there in a muscle shirt with the remnants of face paint still visible. I don’t think he liked it when I said I assumed he was in a fire truck since his lights were all red. In my hometown we had blue lights with the red on police cars to distinguish such things. He gave me a ticket for the ten miles an hour too fast I was going. That was nothing compared to when I had to tell my Dad about it. I had to confess and throw myself on the mercy of the parental court and hope for the best. Now that I have children I realize something I could not back then. My Dad’s love for me and concern for my welfare tempered his discipline as he dispensed justice.
I came across these verses which jogged my memory about those times of approaching judgment. “I know, Lord, that a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps. Discipline me, Lord, but with justice — not in Your anger, or You will reduce me to nothing.” (Jeremiah 10:23-24 HCSB).
It takes faith and courage to seek out correction. Knowing that we have a loving Father as our judge, should help us when we have sinned. I am not saying His love causes Him to ignore our sinful choices. I am pointing out, that in dispensing discipline, His love for us has our best interest at heart. Principles and commands from God’s word are not there to harm or deprive us. They are there to protect us. When God disciplines us He seeks to correct us. The point is never to zap us, but instead it is to get us back on the right path living the best possible life. Jeremiah understood that and sought out God’s gentle discipline.
When we have sinned, go to God like Jeremiah and seek His gentle correction.