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)