I heard this question from a ministry friend of mine, Andy Hayner, yesterday when he spoke at our morning service.
At this point, my mind went reeling with this technological analogy and how it speaks to our life in Christ. Here are some of my thoughts …
I thought about how my listening and viewing habits have changed over the last five decades. I go back to vinyl records, but then there was eight-track tapes (in my first car!), then cassettes, then CD’s. We also watched movies on VHS tapes, then DVD’s, then downloads…now it’s all available by live streaming.
I don’t have cable TV anymore. I have live streaming video. It goes from my wireless router to a little Roku video streamer to my TV. I watch whatever I want whenever I want.
Everything is going to the “cloud.” Our music, our videos, even all our software. For instance, I currently use Office 365 for my word processor. I always have all the latest Office suite programs available to me and access to them no matter where I am in the world. I’m no longer limited by my hard drive or installing software and keeping it current. It’s all in this mysterious “cloud” and the only limitation is with the manufacturer. It doesn’t depend on me.
Christians living by their “hard drive”
Living by our “hard drive” is when we live according to our human condition, our old programming, our natural thinking. It’s resident in us and hard-wired to us. But the problem is that, over time, our “hard drive” gets corrupted with viruses and unwanted programming, files get disconnected and it often crashes. We constantly need to patch and update the operating system, fixing things with add-on maintenance programs that clean up the clutter. It’s all limited to our hardware and keeping it healthy depends on your constant vigilance (or paying a professional to do it for us).
This is a Christian trying to live his or her life apart from the Spirit. We’re living from our hard drive–our soul. It’s been my experience that most Christians live from this place–getting our life from what our experiences and circumstances tell us. It’s a life of human control tied to the physical realm–from earth to heaven. It’s constantly keeping the world’s “viruses” in check and self-maintaining our spiritual health through disciplines, psychological principles, human rationale and the “should-do’s and don’t’s.”
It’s a life not much different than that of an atheist except that we’re going to heaven…but only after we’re dead and buried.
It’s a life of unnecessary burdens and bondage, empowering things that Jesus disempowered on the Cross.
So, metaphorically speaking, God never wanted us to patch up our hard drive. He nailed it to the cross with Christ so we could live-stream with Him forever.
That’s a life of freedom.
The live-streaming life “in the cloud”–according to the Spirit
But the Spirit is live-streaming from heaven 24/7. The content (the Truth, Scripture) never changes but our understanding, the quality of communication–the resolution, if you will–is always the highest possible. It’s a life in constant upgrade with all the latest “software” updates from the Spirit.
You have instant access to all the “programming” of heaven (John 16:14; 1 Cor.2:9-10). There are no limitations. It doesn’t depend on you; it depends on the manufacturer–God.
The live-streaming life is other-worldly. You can’t see it but nonetheless it’s more real than the world you do see. It flows directly to your spirit from heaven.
Jesus–live-streaming from the Father’s server
Jesus’ life was the live-streaming life of God. He operated from the “cloud” (John 1:51; 3:13)–from heaven to earth. His life ran on the Father’s server. He did not live according to His hard drive (human nature and limitations), nor did He display His Divine programming on His monitor screen (Phil2:5-8), but rather, displayed the clearest, highest-definition resolution of the Father’s life for all the world to see.
For He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). He only did what He saw the Father do (John 5:19-20). He faithfully live-streamed the Father to us in human form. He brought heaven to earth in our every day life.
Our life is in the “cloud” of heaven
Beloved, our life is also found in the “cloud” of heaven. We have been seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph.2:6). Why do we live from the things of earth that cannot transform the soul? As Paul tried to tell us, these things have the “appearance of godliness but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Col.2:20-23)
We are no longer wired to this earth. We were meant to live-stream from the Father’s “server” 24/7. Jesus taught us how to enter into this life in His final discourse in John’s gospel account (John 13:31-17:26). Weren’t we listening? For the whole point here is to send His live-streaming Spirit to live in us so that we could live like Him.
So, where are you living from? From your hard drive or are you live-streaming from heaven? As Jesus faithfully revealed the Father in the clearest HSD (Holy Spirit Definition) life, so are we do to do the same. Amen.
“So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21 NKJV)
Very apt analogy! God bless you Pastor Mel!
Thanks! As I said, Andy provided the great question and I ran with it here. I used to work in the computer industry and it touched the geek in me. 🙂 But it is a good analogy for all of us. Blessings.
I really liked this Mel.. 🙂 I agree, a good analogy for all of us.
Thanks. Blessings to you. 🙂
Why is it that whenever I read your posts I find myself sitting with my jaw dropped? I absolutely love your analogy and can’t wait to MAKE (I am their mother after all) my boys (both pursuing degrees in Computer Science) read this as it is written in their language. Thanks ahead of time from all of us over here!
Lol! Thanks. And, yes, moms always have special powers over their sons, no matter how old they are. 🙂 I hope it does bless them.
Wow….will need to think on this some more
I’m not a computer geek, but this rings so close to an analogy I had about the “instant” times we live in: a lot of people complain about our instant technology we live with these days. That it takes away the personal face-to-face contact with people, this it may well do, however I choose to see that God is reflected in all things (speaking to us through everything). Cell phones keep you in touch 24/7, facebook connects you to people world wide in an instant……..this is how our relationship with the Lord can be-continuosly, instantly connected……knowledge is easily and freely available to all at the touch of a button nowadays……..knowledge of Him, getting to know Him is freely available to all…….we just need to believe and receive. The “cloud” (Holy Spirit) is EVERYWHERE keeping us connected to Him. We can choose to look at things like the world (through our hard drive) and find something bad about human progress or we can choose to look for God in everything letting the “cloud” be our counsellor as He was created to be! Thanks for posting this………I feel a little less crazy when I connect with others who are walking in the cloud(s) 😉
Amen. Now you know why people thought Paul was crazy! 🙂 Thanks for your insights here. Much appreciated.
We were made for connection, and the source of that connection is found in God. His presence makes our connection with each other all the sweeter and joyful and fulfilling. Seeing from heaven to earth through this fellowship with God gives us His perspective, calling people up to the good things God sees in them instead of calling them out on who they’re not. As Paul said, we no longer regard each other according to the flesh but in Christ (2 Cor.5:16). Blessings.
Mel this is delightfully delicious it is”sweet to my soul” using technology to ponder the wonders of God. As christians in this age we tend to think like people from the dark ages when confronted with the concept of germs. Just like when they thought it was all witchcraft and magic. In a lot of ways we have abdicated mysteries of God to an unbeleaving world who function outside of Christ. John 1:3 says All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. How clear is that. About 9 yrs ago someone made me a copy of “What the bleep do we know” If someone wants to watch it I would advice to watch prayerfully because a majority of the people who comment in it look at it look at things as though outside looking in and not perceiving God’s hand in it,// we are children of God’s Kindom and we look at things from inside of God outward// “Jason Weaterfield; Blast Off”. (Long story I know) But what they explain are concepts that make sense to me better as a believer, I actually understood why it is crucial for us to as Paul said in 2 Cor 10; 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. For me it is clear that this is a practical concern rather than a ” vengeful God waiting to give us a “what’s for” if we get it wrong. rather it is that whatever thoughts we keep impacts us physically in our new created selves and either conform us to Christ’s image or bind us to the image of the first Adam. Complicated? Not really because Jesus is the originator of all things and as we “behold” Him we become more and more of His image and that includes the mind. As a result concepts that the world finds obsurd, improbable or difficullt to understand are given to us because we are in Christ and these concepts are His. As Jude says; 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. We don’t get lost whilst searching the things of God, when the world looks at these things and they seem random to them, however to us with the mind of Christ we find the mysteries of God. I hope this is presented coherently and I write it fearfully as I don’t want to present a stumbling block to my fellow brothers and sisters, rather the unlimitless hope that is in Christ Jesus.
I’m tracking with you and agree. It’s all about connection and identity. Believing what God believes about us. The context is in verse 7. We are in Christ, no longer who we were.
I like what you said, “For me it is clear that this is a practical concern rather than a ” vengeful God waiting to give us a “what’s for” if we get it wrong. rather it is that whatever thoughts we keep impacts us physically in our new created selves and either conform us to Christ’s image or bind us to the image of the first Adam.”
Yes, absolutely, this is where Paul is going here. The “vengeance” is on the contrary thoughts that lie to us about who we really are in Christ and disagree with what God says. For, as you said, those thoughts hinder us from conforming to His image. God is ever for us, shaping us, ever drawing us to Himself, being a Father to us. The enemy wants to disconnect us from of that place in Christ and think like orphans and see ourselves based on our current experience (“outward appearance”). But exercising faith in the truth of who God says we are conveys us to become who we already are in Christ.
Thanks for your comments and insights. Much appreciated. Blessings.
God often uses computer analogies with me so this was great!!! Thanks brother :)))
Cool. And you’re very welcome. 🙂
Mel, as usual “brilliant”
Love the cloud analogy! There is no more distance or delay! Heaven is not a future event to look forward to! Neither is righteousness, sanctification, peace, holiness, etc. The finished work of the cross is the completion of all. God’s free gifts! No 7 or 12 step process to attain!
Amen! Seems to me like it’s good news that brings great joy! 🙂