Monday, June 20, 2005

Backup, Format, Re-install, Repeat

OK, how many of us have seen that little video of the guy in his cubicle at work, who gets up and starts smashing his computer until it's right off the desk? Most of us have felt like that from time to time and so now this is my moment of PC rage! However God taught me an important lesson through it all, one I wasn't expecting.

The wireless has been acting up, there's been difficulty connecting, I've been suspicious of a virus, rundll32.exe has been running at 100% in task manager. Too many problems, time to start over. I figured it was time for a good old formatting and re-installing.

As I was going through the recovery process a few thoughts dawned on me in relation to how God works, similar to the way I interact with my laptop.

First I back up important data. Any important documents, programs, files, etc. I burn them on CD and keep them safe, saving them for future use.

When God wants to start over, he chooses a remnant from his people: Examples from the Bible are many. God saved Noah and his family from the flood so he could start over again. God called Abraham out of idolatry to start the nation of Israel. God saved Joshua & Caleb from dying in the wilderness so they could help lead the people into the promised land. God takes a remnant from within his people and "saves them". Similar to Israel's baking techniques. When making bread, Israelites would take a little piece of the dough to get the yeast and save it, wait till the next day, then nead (sp?) that little piece of the dough with the yeast in it to make the new loaf, and so on and so on. That's where the biblical phrase comes from: "A little leaven leavens the whole lump". We've seen God do it in the past, but let's think about how he is doing that today.

Second: I format. Wipe everything out. Start all over with a blank slate.
After God has saved his remnant he wipes out a generation : He wiped out the world with a flood, everyone died in the wilderness except Joshua & Caleb, Israel was destroyed by Babylon, except for Daniel. Jesus was the first-born from among the dead. etc. How is God doing this today? What old thing is he "wiping out" in order to establish the new thing?

Third - I re-install.
God's next step is to repopulate with people from this remnant: Noah and his family, Joshua/Caleb, Nehemiah/Ezra, Jesus & his disciples, etc. New things spring to life.

Fourth - Repeat - after a while, the data gets corrupt again and I start all over.

God has been following this pattern for centuries: Therefore it should come as no surprise to us. Those of us who have ears to hear, listen to what God is doing. Jesus scolded the people in his day because they couldn't understand the times. God may be doing something new in our day, and that is absolutely biblical and historically inevitable. Our choice then is simply wether we will stick with the old wineskin/lump and be wiped out, or be counted with the remnant and be part of God starting over. The question I have is how do we know when God is finished with a work/movement and ready to move on? Is there a level of corruption? Stagnation? Any hints in Revelation in the address to the churches?

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