Restore your device to factory settings
December 18, 2013You are a kind of device that is similar in many ways to the electronic devices you own. Your "device" possesses certain hardware that was designed by The Manufacturer to provide you with storage capacity, memory and the ability to process data.
Your hardware is designed to run on a kind of software that includes certain ideas, values and an outlook that determines your decisions, lifestyle and generally how efficiently your device operates.Like the devices you own, you came 'out of the box' with certain 'factory settings.' According to the manufacturer's manual, your original software package included belief in "God's eternal power and divine nature" and a clear understanding that the purpose for which you were manufactured was to "worship and serve" The Designer of your device. (Romans 1)
But, there is a problem. Your processor has been infected by a kind of malware. Malware is "malicious software" that disrupts the designed functions of your device. This hostile and intrusive software takes many different forms such as viruses, worms, spyware, etc.
A common type of malware is called a "trojan". The name comes from an ancient story in which the Greeks were attempting to capture the city of Troy. Rebuffed, they came up with a deceptive plan. They built a very large and innocent looking wooden horse, which secretly contained a hidden unit of Greek soldiers.
The rest of the Greek army pretended to give up and sail away. After their departure, the Trojans brought the innocent looking horse inside the gates of the city. That night the destruction of Troy was accomplished when, under the cover of darkness, the Greek soldiers crept out of the horse and opened the gates for their returning army. In computer lingo, a "trojan" is software that looks legitimate and useful but has imbedded within it destructive malware.
When we allow a "trojan" into our processor it looks like authentic software. Trojans are ideas, values and outlooks on life that seem useful, routine and attractive but contain destructive and malicious programming in its very core.
A Trojan seems innocent enough, but it contains our destruction. Trojans are malicious lies that sneak into the operating system under the guise of liberating truths.
Our manufacturer's manual describes the effect of these trojans on our entire system. In Romans 1, the manual says that the malware looks like "wisdom" but it turns us into "fools." It causes our "thinking to become futile" and our hearts to become "foolish" and "darkened," "exchanging the truth of God for a lie." Malware causes our device to operate in ways that were never intended by our original design.
Because we cannot fix ourselves, The Designer of the entire system intervened by sending an entirely different kind of device into the system, a kind of "trojan" of his own. This "trojan" looked innocent enough, it looked like a mere child. But, the child part was only half the story. The other half was something much more! Contained within the child was The Designer himself. In John 1, The manual describes him as "God," the one who "created everything" and "gave life to everything." The manual says, The Designer "became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
Christmas is the story of The Designer showing up to restore your device to original factory settings. That's something worth celebrating! So, be sure to enjoy all the trappings of the season. But, in this, don't fail to connect your device to him this holiday season. You might practically connect with God's Trojan by reading Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2 and John 1 in The Manufacturer's Manual.
You might also, steal some 'alone time' and allow Him to scan for the malware hidden in your ideas, values and outlook. And be sure to plug in to His faith community to learn how you can begin to restore your life to original factory settings.