One of our children is notorious for taking off her shoes and socks in the car although she's been told time and again not to do that.
Consequently, wherever we go, we need to include time to put those back on her.
Recently, on one such occasion, the thought entered my mind that, "Here I am, rebooting the kid again." Then it occurred to me that we do things we shouldn't even when we know better and our relationship with God needs to be rebooted (you know, like when your computer slows down tremendously or stops working right or even doing things we don't want it to do and you have to shut it down and let it start back afresh).
I'm not much of a computer guru, but most people who use computers with any regularity can tell when their computer needs to be rebooted. The computer's response to their commands can become slower. Programs may not work properly and the computer may even lock up. As I understand it, this generally happens due to continued use that leaves clutter in the operating memory.
When Christians clutter their lives with sin (even one sin is too much clutter), they need to clear out the clutter as well to reboot their relationship with God (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Because we belong to God, the Holy Spirit lets us know we've sinned and can clear that up between us and God by simply asking for forgiveness out of repentance (Romans 8:15-17; 1 John 1:8-9). Then, God removes the clutter of unrighteousness leaving us with a clear conscience so that we can function properly again (Hebrews 9:14; 2 Corinthians 7:10).
When we respond to the Holy Spirit's urgings to reboot, we put to death the wrong we've done and he continues to help us in our weakness (the tendency to sin) interceding for us so that Jesus' blood continues to cleanse us (Romans 8:12-14, 26-27; 1 John 1:5-7). For this to work properly, or actually at all, we must have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who comes to us when we are baptized to become Christians and receive initial forgiveness (Acts 2:38-39; 22:16; Galatians 3:26-4:7).
But that's only the beginning of the process. Just like enhancing computer performance often being a matter of setting it to auto-update any time the software manufacturer develops an improvement or a fix, putting to death the misdeeds of the body so we can function properly in our relationship with God is a continuous process for Christians that involves keeping ourselves updated with personal Bible study and prayer that leads to a renewing of our mind (Colossians 3:5-11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Psalms 119:11; Philippians 3:12-16; 2:12-13).
Just as failure to keep our computer up to date, not maintaining our relationship with God leads to greater problems now and will waste our time in eternal separation from him (Hebrews 3:7-11; 6:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Do you need to reboot your relationship with God?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org