Updates Waiting

If I didn’t know better, I’d think my computer has been listening in on private exchanges with my wonderful, incredibly patient and helpful wife. I can’t confirm that active collaboration is going on between the two of them, but the device has clearly adopted the opinion that simply telling me stuff one time isn’t nearly enough. In any case, it apparently felt the need to interrupt me lately with endless reminders that its operating system is in need of attention, and for some reason, this insistent little reminder kicked in my rebellious instincts. 

Perhaps I’ve been subjected to too many government mandates for the past couple of years. Regardless, my initial response was not positive. I determined that no little authoritarian cabal of microscopicUpdate.1 electronic gadgetry and manipulative digital doodads was going to tell me what to do. But then I sensed the Holy Spirit interrupting me about the time I was ready to launch into a full-blown patriotic, soul-stirring, inspirational diatribe about my God-given rights and the erosion of personal freedoms. 

An Eye-Opening Exchange ~
Apparently, God was not all that excited about hearing another one of my impromptu sermons, and decided to adjust my perspective. It’s remarkable how He can interfere with our natural reactions just by asking a simple question or two. In this case, an exchange played out in my head between God and me that went something like this: 

God: “So let me get this straight. You’re being offered an update for your computer that will…

a) … offer greater protection from the latest cyber attacks,
b) … enable you to handle information faster and more efficiently,
c) … include some options and innovations that will make your work easier and more enjoyable, and
d) … require nothing from you except clicking a button to express your approval and sacrificing a few minutes to install it.  

And you see all that as an unnecessary and bothersome intrusion because you’re okay with the status quo. Is that about right?”

Me: “Well… Uhh, yeah, I guess so….” 

God is always intent on revealing things about Himself and about us that contribute to His goal of making us more like Him. In this case, He made it clear that the process of providing updates to operating systems didn’t originate with the computer age. God has apparently been doing that for thousands of years. 

Divine Updates Were Offered ~
For instance, if we put it in modern-day terms, when Jesus came, the operating system that governed Update.2what God’s people could and could not do was basically defined by the Torah. Those commands and directives God delivered to Moses were interpreted by the Priests, and their practical application was enforced by various religious authorities. Jesus brought with Him the offer of a major update to that system that included incredible benefits and unprecedented options. 

Their operating system was demanding, burdensome, anxiety producing, and painfully restrictive in many ways. Instead of promoting gratitude and love for God, it tended to generate more dread of Him. The radical system update that Jesus offered addressed all those distressful issues they were struggling with under the Mosaic Covenant. In spite of that, many were satisfied with the status quo and saw Jesus and His message as an unwanted intrusion. To them, it was threatening because they were comfortable with their old way of thinking and the Old Covenant’s traditional mandates. Jesus offered an update that included a new picture of God’s character and a concept of redemption that freed them from the Law’s demands that were impossible to attain on their own. But that was just the beginning, because the need for installing updates with new capabilities didn’t end there.

More to Come ~
Before leaving them, Jesus informed His followers that He would be adding another update to the system, one that would be the major vehicle for carrying out His plan to offer salvation to everyone and a source of unity for all the disparate tribes, tongues, and races throughout the world. He announced it to Peter with these simple words: 

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 NKJV)

In order to achieve that objective and to enable His followers to carry out the mission He had entrusted them to fulfill, additional updates would be needed. His departure would mean that the operating system they were accustomed to would be changing dramatically. What they had been given prior to His departure would not be sufficient for facing the challenges that would confront them later. So, Jesus announced that He would be sending One in His place to provide updates as needed. He said:

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:25–26 NKJV)

Another Expansion ~
The birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost launched the need for a whole series of updates. For example, in the beginning, only Jews or Jewish proselytes were allowed to be a part of the Church, but God interrupted Peter’s ministry during a visit to Joppa to announce another update. The Gentiles,Update.3 which included everybody who wasn’t a Jew, would be welcomed and included in everything Jesus offered. But those monumental improvements weren’t the only ones God offered. Updates were needed on an individual basis as well because things change, new challenges arise, resources get depleted, and the enemy’s tactics are constantly being revised and refined. Paul recognized that when he wrote this admonition to the Romans:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1–2 NKJV)

 Sadly, many times, the updates God offers us are not welcomed. Our human tendency regarding spiritual things is to be satisfied with the status quo, especially if we aren’t seeing any overt problems in that area. In that case, it’s easy to adopt the attitude that making changes just isn’t worth the effort. Returning to my computer example for a minute, the electronic world has changed in the years since I bought it – and the device had no innate ability to keep up without outside help. The same thing is true of you and me. 

Deficiencies Have Been Exposed ~
The status quo of our Western Christianity has allowed the killing of innocent babies to be declared “health care” and a basic “human right”. The simple matter of determining what gender someone is has become an insoluble mystery. Openly expressing our beliefs and/or practicing the dictates of our faith has become a criminal act in some places. The most toxic, divisive, perverse, and destructive ideas imaginable are not only defended, they are taught at every level in our schools. Apparently, nothing can be condemned anymore, except, of course, Biblical values and conservative ideas. Does it look like we may have missed an update or two?

The world has changed around us and the Church of Jesus Christ in our nation has not kept pace with Update.4the challenges those changes represent. Our individual Christian operating systems are in desperate need of a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit’s power and authority. We need a revival of the power and willingness to stand up for righteous principles, to speak out against lawlessness and corruption, and to be living examples of the things we claim to believe. 

Our spiritual, moral, and ethical deficiencies are glaring – and they’ll never be addressed by status quo Christianity. The personal update God offers each of us is desperately needed and instantly available. The question is simple . . . Are we willing to receive and apply all that Jesus died to offer us and stands ready to activate in us – or not?


“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below.  Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .

    • “Our human tendency regarding spiritual things is to be satisfied with the status quo, especially if we aren’t seeing any overt problems in that area personally. It’s easy to adopt the attitude that making changes just isn’t worth the effort.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “The status quo of our Western Christianity has allowed killing innocent babies to be declared “health care” and a basic “human right”.  Beyond that, the simple matter of determining what gender someone is has become an insoluble mystery.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “Openly expressing our beliefs & practicing the dictates of our faith is a criminal act in some places. The most toxic, divisive, perverse & destructive ideas imaginable are not only defended, they’re taught at every level in our schools.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
    • “Our individual Christian operating systems are in desperate need of a fresh infusion of the Spirit’s authority & power to stand for righteous principles, speak against lawlessness & corruption, & be examples of what we claim to believe.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)  

Check out Ron’s book“Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” 

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© 2022 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, Humor Turned to Insight, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Updates Waiting

  1. Your analogy here is brilliant, Ron! Why shouldn’t we be willing to allow God to update our understanding and perceptions to make us more like Him? There certainly is that tendency in human nature to settle for the status quo or to not see the radical ways society is being corrupted right in front of our eyes. Every generation of Christians will encounter unique challenges, and we must be ready to stand up in the face of those and call them out for what they are; to do so, we must submit to all the updates God sends our way.
    (I’m not publicly announcing this on my blog, but Danny and I are going out of town for over two weeks, so I may or may not be able to get to your blog during that time, nor will I be actively blogging. I hope you understand, my friend.)
    Blessings!

    Like

    • God bless you, my long distant friend. I love the way you faithfully blend reinforcing insights with the encouragement you send along with your comments. And thanks for letting us know about your upcoming excursion. I hope it’s a fun trip, and if it is, I must confess that I’m a little jealous. It seems like it has been too long since Diane and I took off for a some fun and relaxing time together, I look forward to reading the inspirational things that you’re going to glean and we’ll be praying that your time away is safe, refreshing and energizing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie Z says:

    Such insight and wisdom in this piece. As always, your perspective and application of Biblical truth helps the world to apply the Word to the world. 💕

    Like

    • I’m so, so sorry that I somehow missed this, Julie. Please forgive me for not getting back to acknowledge and thank you for your gracious and encouraging note. I hate missing a comment from anyone, but I especially hate missing one from someone as special as you are to Diane and me. If I get a second chance, I promise to be more diligent in passing along my gratitude. In any case, God bless you for your stand for God’s Truth in these chaotic times.

      Like

  3. JD Wininger says:

    You did it again my friend. Boy, I say that a lot with your writing. You made me laugh, then cry out in repentance, all within two paragraphs. As I read, “I determined that no little authoritarian cabal of microscopicUpdate.1 electronic gadgetry and manipulative digital doodads was going to tell me what to do.”, I threw my head back and howled with laughter as I’ve thought those very same thoughts in the past. And why do these computers come equipped with a hidden “Critical Mass Sensor” so that they instinctively know the most inopportune time to do a download (when you boot up to start a presentation or web meeting, etc.)? Then, your conversation with God led me to have that very same conversation. If only we were as patient with God as He is with us. I also wondered if the computer copies God in that we can reject the update only so many times before it takes control and forces us to accept. While I don’t think God “forces us”, in that He holds us down and shoves it into us, I do believe He will allow things into our live to draw us back to Him from our rejection and then wait for us to accept that “last thing” He wanted us to do or learn. Upon requesting Him to upgrade us, His blessings over us return. Good lesson here for the Christian world, isn’t it? Another entertaining yet inspiring message this day sir. Thank you and God’s blessings upon you and your wonderful family.

    Like

    • I totally agree with that “critical mass sensor” comment, J.D., and I love the way you expounded how graciously and persistently God continues to work on us even when we resist Him. His determination to get us to the point where He can work through us is amazing. Diane and I love seeing your gifts stand out even when you’re reviewing something written by someone else. You always manage to recognize and reinforce the important points along with your encouragement. I don’t think we’ve ever read a comment from you that didn’t leave us feeling richer and more hopeful. You’ve exported more smiles and encouragement to our house than you know and we are so grateful. My Diane and I are keeping you and yours in our prayers and are confident that the Lord has already been down the path ahead and will guide you safely through it.

      Like

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