Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Computers are a vital part of our lives. You likely wouldn’t be reading this devotional without one. They are really wonderful when they are fast and have the software we need. One thing about computers though, is that they are also targets and require protective software: antivirus, anti-spyware, firewalls, encryption, identity protection… the list just goes on. We have spam filters, content filters and all manner of security to protect us from hackers, unwanted emails or to prevent access to sites with certain content.
Over the years Donna and I have been blessed to have friends who worked with computers. They would help and advise us in setting up our computer with the appropriate protective software. When we needed help, we knew who to call.
The focus in computers is what they can do – not that they are susceptible to all manner of negative things. There is an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That really applies here. Properly set up and maintained computers free the users from undue concern over vulnerabilities and enable them to focus on the things to be done.
The same principle applies to our Christian lives. As Christians, we have the Spirit of God within us. When we live by the Spirit, He enables us to overcome sinful desires we encounter. By living in Him and God’s word, ‘firewalls’ are erected to keep sinful desires at bay. They keep us from going to those places where dangerous temptations are located.
Recognize that ‘those places’ can be websites, TV programs, books, magazines, video games, etc… as well as actual physical locations like bars, clubs, stores or hangouts; being with individuals or groups that lead us astray by us becoming more receptive to the sinful desires and behaviors they manifest. When we ignore the Holy Spirit’s warnings, the unacceptable can – and will – gradually become acceptable to us. Unfortunately, this problem is rampant among far too many Christians.
The Holy Spirit helps us understand and apply God’s word in unfamiliar situations where danger might be lurking. He is ever vigilant. Unlike computer software, there is absolutely nothing that can get by Him – we don’t have to worry about upgrades. He simply requires that we live by Him.
Remember, in a computer, protective software simply enables it to do what it is designed to do. The same principle applies to us as Christians. Living by the Spirit, enables us to become the men and women of righteousness that God intends. I love 1 Peter 2:9 because it presents such a glorious picture of who we get to be in Christ:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.