Tag Archives: Operating system

Can I Do New Stuff?

Don’tcha love it when the software fairies announce that your computer operating system has just been updated?  Me? I seize up at first, thinking that they have just erased all my passwords and favorite tunes.  But then I go exploring, trying to figure out if, as a result of this new software, I can actually do new stuff.  When you trust Jesus, He gives you a new operating system – the Holy Spirit.  Question is, can you actually do new stuff?  Yes you can!  But, but, but…

At first, you may not notice any big change, because the Holy Spirit has been added to an operating system that has grown accustomed to operating without Him.  But soon enough, we start looking to see if we can do new stuff.

Think of your “self” in three parts: Body, Soul (your mind, emotion & will), and Spirit.  The Body takes orders from the Soul.  But where does the Soul get its information from?  We are designed to have the Spirit (of God) inform the Soul, so it can operate the Body correctly.  If we don’t have the Spirit, the Soul has to get all of its information from the Body (the eyes, ears and Facebook).  That is backwards.

The Bible calls a Body and Soul with no Holy Spirit, “flesh.”  Flesh is the nickname for our old operating system.  When God gives His Spirit to that person, now he has “flesh” and “Spirit.”   We have a new operating system, but we still have the habits we formed when all we had to work with was flesh.  Just like with new computer software, when you have to train yourself not to do things the old way, there is a natural conflict between our old habits (flesh) and our new operating system (Spirit).  It takes awhile to learn to operate (or “walk”) by the Spirit, instead of the flesh.  But that is how we discover the new stuff we can do.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17 ESV)

When you first read that, you might think it’s saying you have to stop having fun.  Nope.  It’s saying “Learn to use your new operating system, so you can do new stuff.”

Who Can Fix It?

Let’s go deeper into a statement from the last post: “Religion cannot work because nothing a dead man can do will restore him to life.  The only One Who can restore “dead” humans to life,  who can restore the flow of His Spirit,  is God.”  (See: The Futility of Religion)

Just under 10 years ago, NASA sent a robotic “rover” to Mars,

English: Artist's rendering of a Mars Explorat...

English: Artist’s rendering of a Mars Exploration Rover. Français : Vue d’artiste d’un Mars Exploration Rover (litt. « rover d’exploration martienne »). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

designed to receive transmitted instructions from earth, follow them, and prowl around on the surface of the planet.  But something went wrong with the operating system of the rover.  He could not communicate properly with the transmissions from Pasadena.  Let’s suppose, in that condition, the rover could still move around on the planet.  Even though he could do stuff,  there would be no way for him to do what the engineers who designed him wanted him to do.  Because the necessary communication was cut off, he would essentially be dead.  Suppose the defect that cut off communication also prevented the rover from using its solar battery chargers.  Maybe it couldn’t point the panels in the right direction.   Soon it would not only be dead to communication but also physically dead – out of power as well.  (This is not exactly what really happened; I’m tweaking the details to make an analogy.)  

Here’s the point: The rover couldn’t fix itself.  Communication with the engineers was dead.  Power was going to eventually be dead, too.  The only party that could accomplish the fix  was the engineers.  They observed the problem, diagnosed it, and initiated the process by which it was eventually fixed.

Using that analogy to illustrate our situation with God, our communication with God (His Spirit) has been cut off.  In that condition, there is no way for us to do what we were designed and intended to do.  We can roam around the planet and do stuff, just not the right stuff.  The Bible word, sin, simply means doing the wrong stuff.  We are “spiritually dead;” our communication with the “Engineer” is down.   As a result, we will also physically die, too.   We cannot fix that.  Nothing we can do will make His Spirit connect.    That’s the bad news.  The good news is that He has observed the problem, diagnosed it, and has initiated the process by which it may be fixed.  God said He would repair our operating system:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

PS: The name of the Mars rover?  Spirit!  Stay tuned…